CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After a miserable start to the season in which he took shots at his players and himself, Larry Brown stepped down as coach of the Charlotte Bobcats in another messy exit in his well-traveled career.
The team announced Wednesday that former Charlotte Hornets coach Paul Silas will take over on an interim basis.
Owner Michael Jordan announced Brown's departure in a news release a day after the Bobcats were outscored by 31-12 in the fourth quarter in their fourth straight loss.
The 70-year-old former 76ers coach had been upset with the makeup and effort of his Charlotte 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 in a 99-81 loss to Oklahoma City.
"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."
Brown continues to have close ties to Philadelphia. His wife and children live at his home on the Main Line.
The Hall of Fame coach, whose contract runs through the end of the 2011-12 season, did not immediately return a message on his cell phone seeking comment. But his agent, Joe Glass, said Brown would be back on the bench soon.
Brown was in the third season of his 13th head coaching job in the NBA and colleges. He leaves with an 88-108 mark with the Bobcats. His 1,327 victories in the ABA and NBA are nine shy of supplanting Don Nelson for the most all-time.
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. Jordan hired him to replace Sam Vincent in 2008.
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 children.
But the off-season included point guard Raymond Felton's departure to New York in free agency and the trade of center Tyson Chandler to Dallas in what amounted to a salary dump to get under the luxury tax threshold.
"I never thought I'd have to be in a position where I'd have to beg guys to play hard," Brown said before Tuesday's game. "Then if you look down the bench, I don't know if guys on the bench are playing any harder. Again, it's my responsibility. We look so disorganized."