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Report: Lakers assistant Steve Clifford reaches deal to be Bobcats coach

May 27, 2013, 6:41 PM EDT

steve clifford Getty Images

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.

  1. bowmanj35 - May 27, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    what you really need to do is replace ownership.

  2. hdanger10 - May 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Everyone claims it is ownership. MJ may have had more impact prior to being the owner than after becoming owner. The team needs to draft better and get lucky with some ping pong balls. The NBA makes itself a joke by having the bounce of stupid balls determine the trajectory of a multi-million dollar franchise. Cho had a decent draft last year, and hopefully will pull a couple of gems out of this year. Blaming ownership is the popular answer. Why doesn’t the owner in OKC get all the credit?

  3. dacapt704 - May 27, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Guy sounds like a winner and has worked with good organizations. Jeff Van Gundy compared this to the Thibodeax (*sp) hire in Chicago..a long time respected assistant with a winning pedigree.

    Hoping it works out this time…the “BUZZ” is back!

  4. garyleee - May 27, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Wow a guy from Maine!!! Pretty Cool. Was a Maine High School Coach. Good Luck

  5. xxakshunxx - May 27, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    I thought they were the Hornets now

  6. Great Caesar's Ghost - May 27, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    The Bucks interviewed Clifford too. Funny that a team that barely made the playoffs was interested in a coach of a team that barely made the playoffs.

  7. bifford - May 28, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Welcome to hell, Cliff!

  8. badintent - May 28, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Rule number 1.After each loss, make sure to lose in cards to said owner MJ.Or dice, craps, or golf.

    • badintent - May 29, 2013 at 1:47 AM

      Oh the Truth hurts don’t it ?? The coach better lose to his boss if he wants to keep his job. MJ lost $500,000 in Golf to the manager of the Sheraton Torrey Pines at La Jolla. My buddy was the Catering Manager at the hotel, I got the skinny on it before it went public. .MJ=Gambler, -$50 million and counting

  9. kantnockdahustle89 - May 28, 2013 at 6:16 AM

    Who are the Bobcats?

  10. slystone111 - May 28, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    I guess he decided he would never get an NBA job and so opted for the Bobcats.

  11. pistolpete0903 - May 28, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Never quite understood the sense of having an NBA franchise in Charlotte.
    That area is ALL college basketball with the likes of Duke, UNC and Wake Forest within 2-3 hours.

    • loungefly74 - May 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      thumbs up. its a very valid point. Every region of the country has a “preferred” sport. That land is college b-ball.

      i hear Seattle is looking for a team?????

  12. progress2011 - May 28, 2013 at 8:33 PM


    This dude is all about having bragging rights to say he is a minority owner. He has absolutely ZERO interest in making sound decisions and investments to win a ball game!

    It’s not a mistake, teams that have such a long losing history EARNED that legacy by having bad ownership that make horrible decisions ……year over year !

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