The Charlotte Bobcats won just seven games last season and went into Wednesday night thinking that they were going to get the No. 1 overall pick in the draft lottery. It appeared that the worst team was due to get that top pick considering it had been seven straight years since that had happened. Instead, that number grew to eight when the New Orleans Hornets snagged the pick and the Bobcats were left with the No. 2 overall pick.
Charlotte team president Rod Higgins said the team went in wanting No. 1, but that the organization wasn’t disappointed. Yeah, right. Instead of drafting Anthony Davis, the Bobcats now get to figure out what to do with the second pick where a slew of guys could be under consideration or the team could trade down.
Rod Higgins joined WFNZ in Charlotte with The Drive to discuss his reaction to getting the No. 2 overall pick, the team’s recent draft choices, if the lottery needs to be changed, why Michael Jordan wasn’t there, the importance of the decision on what to do with the No. 2 pick and the team’s coaching search.
What was your reaction to getting the No. 2 pick?:
“Anytime when you, not expect, but everybody in this organization wanted to get No. 1 and then having No. 2. Disappointment? Nah. It’s just one of those things that happens and you basically have no control over it. Would we have liked to have No. 1? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, we all came to work this morning. All of our staff came to work and we’re back at it.”
On the past draft-day blunders and how fans can trust that those won’t be made again going forward:
“I think you can go through any franchise and any team and you can second guess after the fact on what you should have done. If the situation, when you talk about Morrison, I’ll just be specific. That was a different regime.”
Wasn’t Adam Morrison Michael Jordan’s pick though?:
“No. From my gathering, because I wasn’t here at that particular time, I thought it was Bernie Bickerstaff. … It’s a fair question and I’m sure every market and every team has to kind of go through that process because you can second guess. I’ll sit here and tell you guys that we’re fairly equipped to make sound decisions. You can go back and forth and always say what if, but at the end of the day, I think that Kemba Walker and Bismack are going to be pretty good at the end of the day. I think Gerald Henderson is going to be pretty good.”
What are your thoughts on the lottery considering the worst team is rarely getting the No. 1 pick?:
“For me, it’s a no-win for me to comment on that situation. I don’t think I have any control over it; our franchise doesn’t have any control over it. … It’s always good debate.”
Why wasn’t Michael Jordan at the lottery?:
“That’s Michael’s decision. He doesn’t have to go anywhere he doesn’t want to go. I think he had other motives. He was here in Charlotte in our building with some of our season-ticket holders and hosting an open house, so he was busy at work.”
Does it feel like the No. 2 overall pick will be as important of a decision as you guys have ever made?:
“There’s no question about that. The scenarios that we’re going to come up with, we’re going to have to think out of the box. We’re going to come up with as many situations, as many trade opportunities. And it is true, we’ve gotten calls already on No. 2, but the process is ongoing for us. I think we would not be doing ourselves [justice] and not be doing our homework and due diligence if we don’t go through the process of hearing everybody out.”
Where does the coaching search stand?:
“I’ll just give you guys an overview. We have probably interviewed eight to 10 people, and I don’t have the total numbers, but there have been quite a few of them over these past few weeks. We have two other guys that we’re going to interview on that long list and then what we’ll do is we’re going to try to pare it down and try to come up with some sort of short list that we can bring in with a second round of interviews. … It’s going to have to take its time. We just want to get the right coach that we feel can help this young group improve.”