Steve Clifford getting back to Charlotte as Hornets coach

Steve Clifford getting back to Charlotte as Hornets coach

After their best option Kenny Atkinson scorned them to get back to the Golden State seat, the Charlotte Hornets have purportedly tracked down a recognizable name to take over as head coach.

Steve Clifford has consented to a deal to coach the Hornets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Terms of the deal weren’t at first announced.

Clifford recently trained the Hornets from 2013-18. The Hornets terminated him in 2018 days after Mitch Kupchak assumed control over the front office as president and general manager. Clifford then coached the Orlando Magic for three seasons before a “mutual” parting in 2021 in the midst of a list remake. He spent last season away from the NBA subsequent to working as an assistant or head coach in the league every season from 2000-2021.

Marc Stein of the New York Times at first revealed that the Hornets were thinking about hiring Clifford while The Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler and Roderick Boone announced that Kupchak and team owner Michael Jordan had direct discussions with Clifford in front of Thursday’s NBA draft. Hornets brass additionally talked with veteran NBA coach Mike D’antoni, per the report.

Clifford led the Hornets to a 196-204 record during his initial residency with the team. He trained the Hornets to playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016, the two of which finished in first-round misfortunes to the Miami Heat. The Hornets haven’t made the playoffs since, missing the postseason during James Borrego’s four-year residency. Borrego supplanted Clifford in 2018 and was terminated after Charlotte neglected to propel past the play-in round last season.

The Hornets supposedly agreed to employ Atkinson on June 10. In any case, Atkinson picked rather to return as a colleague to the Warriors on Saturday, days after Golden State beat the Boston Celtics for the NBA title. Atkinson was the lead trainer of the Brooklyn Nets for four seasons and will return for his second season on the Golden State seat.

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