Steve Clifford returns to coach Hornets for second time

Steve Clifford was hired on Friday for a second tour of duty as coach of the Charlotte Hornets.

Published : Jun 25, 2022 09:42 IST

File Photo of  Steve Clifford.
File Photo of Steve Clifford.

File Photo of Steve Clifford.

Steve Clifford was hired on Friday for a second tour of duty as coach of the Charlotte Hornets.

The team confirmed Clifford's return but did not reveal details of his contract. According to multiple media reports, Clifford received a multiyear deal.

The 60-year-old coach went 196-214 with two playoff appearances in five seasons with the club from 2013-18. He was fired after going 36-46 in the 2017-18 campaign.

The move comes after Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson agreed to become coach of the Hornets and later reneged on the deal.

After being dismissed by Charlotte, Clifford spent three seasons with the Orlando Magic and went 96-131. He has an overall mark of 292-345 in eight NBA seasons.


Clifford's first two Orlando squads made the postseason, but his final team went 21-51, the third-worst record in the league. Clifford and the Magic elected to part ways following the campaign.

Clifford spent last season in a consulting role for the Brooklyn Nets.

Clifford is just 11 wins shy of matching the Charlotte record for coaching victories held by Allan Bristow (207 from 1991-96).

Charlotte also considered veteran coach Mike D'Antoni for the job.

The Hornets fired James Borrego after going 43-39 last season. Charlotte lost to the Atlanta Hawks in a play-in tournament to miss the postseason for the sixth straight season.

Borrego went 138-163 in his four seasons with the Hornets. Last season was his only winning campaign.

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