- Associated Press - Monday, April 30, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The worst team in NBA history will have a new coach next season.

The Charlotte Bobcats have decided not to renew coach Paul Silas‘ contract after the team finished 7-59 this season for the worst winning percentage in league history (.106).

“We have been talking internally about what is best for us going forward,” Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said at a news conference Monday. “The record kind of speaks for itself. When you look at the youthfulness of this roster … we just all felt collectively that the change was something we wanted to do at this time.”

The 68-year-old Silas, who told The Associated Press late in the season he wanted to “see things through” and coach one more year, said Monday he found out earlier in the day he would not be brought back.

Silas said he was not surprised by the decision.

“I’m ok with that,” he said. “I have had a very successful career coaching and playing and it’s time to move on.”

Silas said he was promised a job in the organization by team owner Michael Jordan and said he’s retiring from coaching.

It’s unclear who’ll replace Silas, who leaves with a 32-88 record at Charlotte. Higgins said a search for his replacement will begin immediately.

“We do not have a timetable. We will start as soon as this presser is over,” he said. “I just don’t want to say there is a time frame. We plan on interviewing quite a few people. We want to find the right guy.”

Higgins said Silas‘ son, Stephen Silas _ who served as an assistant under his father and led the team in several games _ will be interviewed for the job, but added finding someone with heading coaching experience “is important.”

“We want someone who wants to win,” Higgins said. “That’s the main quality. We will have quite a few candidates. I would say there are quite a few people who come into mind.”

Finding someone who might be interested in taking over the last-place Bobcats might not be easy. They’re light on talent and experience and it could be a long way from competing for a playoff spot.

Bobcats general manager Rich Cho is aware this job might not be for everyone.

“Those are the type of coaches we don’t want to bring in,” Cho said. “I want somebody that will relish the opportunity and look at it as a challenge. It’s really easy to go to a winning team and take that opportunity. But I want somebody in here that’s going to look at this as a great opportunity and a challenge and a chance to build something from the ground up.”

Silas was in a difficult situation heading into the season with a young and inexperienced team, plus a shortened offseason that limited practice time. Injuries to top players like Corey Maggette, D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson did not help.

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