Jackson on Brown's firing: 'We need a change'

Updated: January 9, 2011, 3:30 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The way Stephen Jackson sees it, the Charlotte Bobcats had no other choice than to fire Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown so they could shift to a more effective offensive style.

Jackson said Sunday that Charlotte's miserable 9-19 start littered with blowout losses came as players resisted the demanding Brown's slowdown system. The Bobcats have gone 4-2 since under interim coach Paul Silas.

"It's kind of like losing a team. Nobody wanted to play no more," Jackson said. "Everybody wanted to play a different style than we were playing. We didn't agree with what was going on. Obviously, it wasn't working, so we needed a change. We had to figure something out."

Brown, coaching his 13th professional or college team, led the Bobcats to 44-38 record and the franchise's first playoff berth last season after a number of moves, including Jackson's acquisition in a November 2009 trade with Golden State.

But after getting swept by Orlando in the first round of the playoffs, things started to sour under the well-traveled Brown.

He publicly showed displeasure with owner Michael Jordan's decision to not re-sign point guard Raymond Felton, who ended up in New York. Charlotte also traded center Tyson Chandler essentially to get the payroll below the luxury tax threshold.

It left Charlotte with a younger team, one Jackson thinks didn't mesh with Brown's precision offense.

"We're younger and we have to play a little faster," Jackson said. "The makeup of the team is different and I think now with Paul as coach the young guys have more confidence to go out there and play basketball and not worry about coming out of the game."

Jordan fired Brown on Dec. 22, the day after the Bobcats were outscored 31-12 by Oklahoma City in their fourth straight loss. Charlotte had lost three games by 31 or more points in the previous two weeks and Brown had questioned the players' effort.

Charlotte, which was averaging 91.8 points under Brown, has surpassed 100 points in four of six games under Silas, who had been out of coaching since 2005. It's helped get the Bobcats (13-21) into playoff contention.

The 70-year-old Brown, whose 1,327 victories in the ABA and NBA are eight shy of matching Don Nelson for the most all-time, didn't immediately return a message Sunday seeking comment.

"You can't blame Coach Brown because we have to play the games," Jackson said. "But at the end of the day, when you make a change like that it has the domino effect of getting everybody up and loving the game. It's definitely worked so far."

The Bobcats have benefited with a soft schedule since Brown's ouster, but several players have said the team is looser. D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson have made major contributions under Silas while Gerald Wallace (ankle) and Nazr Mohammed (knee) have been sidelined.

It doesn't mean the Bobcats won't try to shake up the roster, although general manager Rod Higgins said Sunday that no deals were imminent.

"I've still got to watch this team, what I have, and see where we go and see what our needs are," Silas said. "We have a lot of guys at the same position that aren't going to play a lot. ... I'm just trying to see what these guys are about right now."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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