- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - After a miserable start to the season in which he took shots at his players and himself, Larry Brown is out as coach of the Charlotte Bobcats in another messy exit in his well-traveled career.

Owner Michael Jordan announced the move in a release by the team on Wednesday, a day after the Bobcats were outscored 31-12 in the fourth quarter in their fourth straight loss.

No successor was named and members of Brown’s staff won’t be considered.

“I met with Coach Brown two weeks ago about the team’s performance and what we could do to improve it,” Jordan said. “We met again this morning after practice. The team has clearly not lived up to either of our expectations and we both agreed that a change was necessary.”

The 70-year-old Brown, a Hall of Fame coach who was in the third season of his 13th professional and college head coaching job, had been upset with the makeup and effort of his team for weeks. The Bobcats (9-19) had lost three games by 31 or more points in 10 days before Tuesday’s fourth-quarter meltdown against Oklahoma City.

Brown, whose contract runs through the end of the 2011-12 season, didn’t immediately return a message on his cell phone seeking comment. But his agent, Joe Glass, said Brown will be back on the bench soon.

Larry is going to coach again,” Glass said. “He’s got plenty of strength and energy.”

Glass declined to discuss details of any buyout or if Brown will be paid through the end of his original four-year contract.

“This was a difficult decision for both of us, but one that needed to be made,” Jordan said. “I want to thank Larry for everything he has done for our team. He has played a key role in this organization’s development including coaching us to our first-ever playoff appearance last season.

Larry will continue to be a valuable advisor to me regarding the team.”

Jordan said a search would begin immediately and he was huddled with general manager Rod Higgins Wednesday night. One possible candidate is former Charlotte Hornets coach Paul Silas, who lives in the area. Silas didn’t immediately return a phone message Wednesday.

It’s a familiar script for Brown, whose career includes quick turnarounds of teams and then usually ugly divorces.

The only coach to win NBA and NCAA titles had been out of coaching for two years following his dismissal after going 23-59 in his only season in New York in 2005-06 when Jordan hired him to replace Sam Vincent in 2008.

Brown immediately demanded changes and Jordan and general manager Rod Higgins responded with a number of trades that completely rebuilt the team. Behind Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson, the Bobcats went 44-38 last season and secured the franchise’s first playoff berth.

But after getting swept by Orlando in the first round, Brown started having reservations about returning. He lamented about being away from his wife and young children in suburban Philadelphia. He stressed that he would only coach for Jordan, and eventually agreed to come back.

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