Hall of Famer Larry Brown has stepped down as coach of the struggling Charlotte Bobcats, the team said on Wednesday.
The 70-year-old was replaced later in the day on an interim basis by former Charlotte Hornets coach Paul Silas.
“The team has clearly not lived up to either of our expectations and we both agreed that a change was necessary,” Bobcats chief executive Michael Jordan said in a statement.
“This was a difficult decision for both of us, but one that needed to be made. I want to thank Larry for everything he has done for our team,” Jordan said. “He has played a key role in this organization’s development, including coaching us to our first playoff appearance last season.”
Brown had coached the Bobcats since April 2008, compiling an 88-104 record. This season they have made a disappointing 9-19 start.
Charlotte were the ninth NBA team of his coaching career, following previous spells with the Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks.
He was also head coach of the bronze medal-winning US men’s team at the 2004 Olympics.
Silas directed the NBA Hornets from 1999-2003, compiling a 208-155 record. The team moved from Charlotte to New Orleans in 2002.
The 67-year-old also coached the Clippers (1980-1983) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2003-2005).
“Obviously it is a tough time but also an opportunistic time for our players and our interim coach, Paul Silas,” Charlotte Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins said. “We wanted to try to salvage what we have left in this season and we are highly optimistic we can get back on track.”