CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nearly six months after Alonzo Mourning left the Charlotte Hornets, the fallout continued with the dismissal of Coach Allan Bristow.
"I'm at peace. It's just part of this business," Bristow said Tuesday after the Hornets ended his five-year run as their coach by buying out the final year of his contract.
The move came two days after the Hornets finished their season short of the playoffs and with a 41-41 record--well below expectations coming off a franchise record 50-victory season.
Those expectations were dashed on Nov. 3, 1995, when the Hornets concluded a bitter contract squabble with Mourning by shipping their talented but disgruntled center to Miami in a six-player deal.
"It was kind of an unhealthy situation for him personally and a situation where a change was in order for us," Bob Bass, Charlotte's vice president of basketball operations, said at a news conference.
With team owner George Shinn at his side, Bass said Bristow, 44, and the Hornets had mutually agreed that the coach should resign. Bristow, who compiled a 207-203 record and twice led the Hornets to the playoffs, will be paid his entire 1996-97 salary of nearly $500,000, Bass said.
Bass said he had yet to compile a list of possible replacements.
"It was mutually agreed. Call it what you want. You're going to anyway," said Bristow at a separate news conference after joining Brendan Malone of Toronto and Butch Beard of New Jersey as coaches to lose their jobs since the NBA season ended Sunday.