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Charlotte Hornets hire Steve Clifford as head coach, again

Andrew Buller-Russ

UPDATE: According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Steve Clifford and the Charlotte Hornets have agreed to work together again. The Hornets have hired Clifford to be their next head coach with a three-year agreement according to Rod Boone.

It’s ok to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Could that be what Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets are on the verge of announcing?

Steve Clifford was recently the head coach of the Hornets, from 2013 to 2018, when he was fired from the organization, sending him to lead the Orlando Magic for the past three seasons. Now, Clifford is set to return to the Hornets after three consecutive disappointing seasons in Florida.

Hornets coaching vacancy has been filled with Steve Clifford

NBA: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After Kenny Atkinson backed out of a reported four-year deal that he never actually signed, the Hornets organization keyed in on two finalists — Mike D’Antoni and Clifford.

D’Antoni met with Michael Jordan and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Tuesday, and he was originally the other finalist before the organization decided on Atkinson. But now Clifford has somehow gotten his foot back in the door.

According to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer, Clifford also met with MJ and Kupchak this week about the Hornets’ coaching vacancy and had emerged as a ‘serious candidate’ to land the gig. Boone’s sources were on point, as Clifford has been hired again.

Clearly, Clifford has previous ties to the organization, having gone 196-214 during his five-year tenure, in which they reached the postseason twice. Maybe they weren’t blown away by D’Antoni’s interview, or maybe they realized things weren’t so bad with Clifford and wanted to see how he’d compare, or what approach he’d take with LaMelo Ball and Co.

Either way, it appears the Hornets once again will have Clifford leading the way, only with a completely revamped roster. Now they need to focus on retaining Miles Bridges.

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