After firing first-time NBA head coach Mike Dunlap after one season, the Bobcats have accidentally rehired him weeks later without realizing it.
"We looked at his résumé and we were smitten. Defensively innovative, attention to detail, emphasis on youth - what more could we ask for?" said Rod Higgins, Bobcats President of Basketball Operations, at Thursday morning's press conference.
Most people were stunned by the move. Fans were left with only one simple question: "How?"
"Well, I changed the name on my résumé from 'Mike' to 'Michael' and no one seemed to notice," Dunlap said with a shrug.
The announcement of a decision so soon came as a shock to many. After cutting Dunlap loose following his first season, the Bobcats said they "ultimately decided that he was not the right fit to lead our team into the future."
With such consistent sustainable future success in mind, most thought the Bobcats' next coaching decision would be a lengthy process. Various media reports from across the nation stated that the team had lined up interviews with coaching candidates in coming weeks.
But all were canceled immediately after the Bobcats front office met with Michael Dunlap, who just so happened to have moved to the area about a year ago.
"We're very lucky to find such a qualified, if under-the-radar coaching talent," Higgins said. "And the fact that he lives around here is an incredible coincidence. We really lucked out finding Michael."
Last year's coaching search ended with less than impressive results after candidates initially included Hall of FamerJerry Sloan, Phil Jackson prodigy Brian Shaw and Quin Snyder. Sloan and Shaw both removed themselves from the running and the Bobcats decided to go back to the drawing board, ending up with former Nuggets assistant coach and St. John's assistant/interim head coach Mike Dunlap.
Despite tripling Charlotte's total season wins and more than doubling their win percentage, Dunlap garnered a surprising zero Coach of the Year votes. The Bobcats didn't seem to buy into Dunlap's coaching ability and certainly didn't think he would be their long term solution.
"Mike did fine last season, but stability breeds consistency and we didn't think he'd provide that," Higgins elaborated. "On the other hand, Michael fills that need with a concentration on defense, tough love player management and communication skills."
When asked about the resemblance between the two Dunlaps, Bobcats general manager Rich Cho said "Well, perhaps they do share some similar features, but we're not going to rule out a guy just because he kind of looks a bit like someone else. Dunlap's a common last name. Is it not enough that their first names are different?"
"Come on, you gotta give us more credit than that," he added.
New head coach Michael Dunlap said he is extremely excited to begin his work with the Bobcats and that he has already prepared for the job by "humbling himself" every day.