Continued from page 1

Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said in mid-April he and general manager Rich Cho met with the players and Dunlap before approaching owner Michael Jordan and asking him to make a coaching change.

“The change was allowed,” Higgins said in April.

Higgins said at the time player input was “a part of the process, but not the only indicator.”

Higgins was asked in April what he wanted in a new coach.

“We want to hire a great leader, (and) the player development aspect is still vitally important to us because of our youth,” Higgins said. “Obviously you want a fantastic X-and-O coach. Someone who can make our players better, and help us win games.”

The Bobcats seemed to place an emphasis on finding a defensive-minded coach after finishing near the bottom of the league in most defensive categories last season.

Along with the Clifford, the Bobcats interviewed at least five other known candidates for the position.

They spoke early on in the process to former Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry, Suns assistant Elston Turner, Cleveland Cavaliers assistant Nate Tibbetts and Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson.

The Bobcats again considered former Lakers assistant Quin Snyder, now a head coach of a professional team in Russia. Snyder and Jerry Sloan were among the three finalists for the job last year that was given to Dunlap.