Now that the regular season as concluded and teams have begun their exit meetings process, franchises are taking a good look at their future and are discussing if the head coach currently leading their team is the right man for them moving forward.
We've already seen Jeff Hornacek and Frank Vogel be dismissed from the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic respectively since the end of the regular season, and today, another head coach has joined that list.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, and after five seasons together, the Charlotte Hornets have decided to part ways with head coach Steve Clifford as the new look front office looks to make their own appointment for the future.
All-star point guard Kemba Walker had nothing but good things to say about Clifford, as the 56-year-old helped him reach the next level of his game during his time with the Hornets.
Walker said, according to Clutch Sports: “He’s been great from day one. He’s been a great coach for me, very motivational. He got me to another level. I just love him as a coach, as a person. He’s been special or me in my career.”
Clifford finished his last season with the Hornets with a 36-46 record, finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference, resulting in the team missing out on the playoffs for a second straight season, and for the third time in the past five years.
The 56-year-old achieved a 196-214 record through his five-year stint in Charlotte, but his lack of playoff berths ultimately lead to the front office comprised of majority owner Michael Jordan, recently-hired Mitch Kupchak, and assistant general manager Buzz Peterson pulling the plug on him.
Still, Clifford is one of the better head coaches in the NBA, and he shouldn't be out of work for too long. Expect him to be back in a head coaching gig before things start to hot up this offseason.
As for the Hornets, they will now switch their focus to bringing someone in that will look to rehaul the squad and build around Walker in order to keep him at the franchise for years to come.
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