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Steve Clifford to be coach of Hornets for second time

Sportsnaut
Apr 20, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford shown on the sideline against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Clifford agreed to a multi-year deal on Friday for a second tour of duty as coach of the Charlotte Hornets, according to multiple reports.

The 60-year-old Clifford 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 game 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.

–Field Level Media