May 27, 2013, 6:41 PM EDT
Steve Clifford, come on down. It’s your shot at the “rebuilding the Bobcats” job.
Clifford, who spent last season as an assistant with the Lakers, has reached an agreement to be the new coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (and since confirmed by other sources). This is a three-year, $6 million deal with the last year being a team option, reports Sam Amick at the USA Today.
Clifford was hired to replace Mike Dunlap, who was let go after one season.
Clifford is expected to hire Patrick Ewing as his lead assistant, reports Wojnarowski.
Clifford has worked around a few places as an assistant, including for both Van Gundy brothers — Jeff in New York and Stan in Orlando.
Clifford had interviewed in Phoenix and was one of three finalists for the Milwaukee job, which prompted Charlotte to act.
The question simply is “can Clifford help develop players and start to instill a strong system?” Because on the court the Bobcats are going to lose a lot of games next season, they are not going to be a good team. But as we saw last season in Orlando under new coach Jacque Vaughn, you can have a bad team that plays hard and to the best of its ability, with signs of things to grow on.
That’s what they need in Charlotte. A first step.
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