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Jordan: Bickerstaff will not return as Bobcats coach

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- Part-owner Michael Jordan says Bernie Bickerstaff won't be back to coach the Charlotte Bobcats next season, but he has an invitation to stay with the organization.

Jordan made the announcement in his first meeting with local reporters since June. He confirmed that Bickerstaff will give up the coaching role. Bickerstaff also serves as general manager.

Bickerstaff is 67-161 in three seasons in Charlotte. His team snapped an eight-game losing streak last night with a victory over the Orlando Magic.

Bickerstaff said when he was first hired to run the expansion team that he wanted to coach for only two or three years before becoming the full-time general manager. But when Jordan was brought in as a minority owner and given the final say on basketball decisions, Bickerstaff's future was in doubt.

Jordan says he sees Bickerstaff as an integral part of the organization and not distancing himself from the Bobcats.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)