The Charlotte Hornets dismissed coach Steve Clifford on Friday morning, ending a run that included two trips to the playoffs, the team announced Friday. After hiring Mitch Kupchak as President and General Manager recently, owner Michael Jordan has afforded him the autonomy to reshape the franchise’s basketball operations and coaching staff as he sees fit.
For Clifford, leaving the Hornets now clears the way for him to become a candidate for openings with any of those teams. After revitalizing a moribund franchise with two playoff appearances in his first three seasons as coach, Charlotte missed the playoffs the past two seasons under Clifford. His NBA coaching peers view him as a strong tactical coach with an innate ability to build strong relationships with his players.
Before the Hornets announced Steve Clifford’s firing, they were already starting a background check on Dave Fizdale, the ex-Memphis Grizzlies head coach, per NBA sources. Seen as a leading candidate.
— Mitch Lawrence (@Mitch_Lawrence) April 13, 2018