Charlotte franchise interviewed 5 candidates
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bernie Bickerstaff will be the coach and general manager of the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, sources told ESPN's David Aldridge on Wednesday.
Later, two team sources told The Associated Press the same thing.
Bickerstaff, who spent parts of 10 seasons as an NBA coach and the past year as general manager of the WNBA's Charlotte Sting, will be introduced at a Thursday news conference, the AP sources said on condition of anonymity.
Karl Hicks, already a member of the Bobcats' front office and former executive director of the National Basketball Developmental League, will be named assistant general manager, the AP sources added.
Gary Brokaw, former director of player personnel for the Orlando Magic, will hold the same role in Charlotte. Brokaw had interviewed for the general manager position.
Charlotte vice president Ed Tapscott was not immediately available Wednesday night to discuss the hires.
The Bobcats begin play in 2004-05. They will replace the Hornets, who moved to New Orleans last year after 14 seasons in Charlotte.
The 58-year-old Bickerstaff was an NBA head coach with the Seattle SuperSonics (1985-90), the Denver Nuggets (1994-96) and the Washington Wizards (1996-99), compiling a record of 338-348 (.493).
He was NBA Coach of the Year for the 1986-87 season after leading Seattle to the Western Conference finals, where the SuperSonics lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bickerstaff began his NBA coaching career in Washington as an assistant in 1973. He was part of a staff that led the then-Bullets into the playoffs 10 times, and the NBA Finals three times, including the 1978 NBA championship.
He was also the president and general manager in Denver from 1990 through 1997.
He was lured back to Washington to become the head coach when the Wizards were struggling at the All-Star break. He rallied the team to its first playoff appearance in nine years, but was fired in April 1999 after going 13-19 after the NBA lockout.
Bickerstaff was one of five candidates, including Brokaw, to interview for the general manager job. The Bobcats also talked to Chris Wallace of the Boston Celtics, Walt Perrin of the Utah Jazz and Maurizio Gherardini of an Italian club team.
Perrin, Jazz director of player personnel, withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday.
Perrin, in his third season with the Jazz, said the timing wasn't good for him to pursue a new job.
The hiring ends a long waiting period for the Bobcats, who couldn't make any moves until Michael Jordan decided if he wanted to be part of the team.
Jordan is a close friend of owner Bob Johnson, and was offered any role he wanted. That prevented Tapscott from moving ahead with his general manager search.
But Jordan decided last month to pursue majority ownership of his own team, kicking off Tapscott's six-week search for a general manager.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- D'Antoni: Kobe's minutes to be limited early
- Mavs' Ellis hits buzzer-beater to top Blazers
- NBA-best Pacers earn rare win over Spurs
- LeBron nears triple-double as Heat cruise