via Yahoo Sports
The Charlotte Hornets, err Bobcats, are preparing for a new beginning. One step is changing coaches. While the big names shied away from the challenge, up and coming names ascending from the staff ranks are not so picky. Steve Clifford, an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers takes the bold step up while hoping for much needed roster changes.
per Yahoo Sports:
The Charlotte Bobcats have reached an agreement in principle to hire Los Angeles Lakers assistant Steve Clifford as head coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Clifford will sign a two-year deal with a team option for a third that could be worth approximately $6 million, league sources said.
Clifford replaces Mike Dunlap, who was fired after one season as coach. Charlotte went 21-61 in 2012-’13.
The Lakers assistant was a finalist for theMilwaukee Bucks head coaching job too, and Charlotte made a pre-emptive move to offer Clifford the job before he traveled to Milwaukee on Tuesday for a second interview.
He is expected to try to hire Patrick Ewing as one of his top assistant coaches, reuniting Ewing with his close friend, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan.
Clifford has had stops in New York, Houston, Orlando and Los Angeles as an NBA assistant coach. Both Jeff and Stan Van Gundy – his former bosses – consider Clifford as strong of a head coaching candidate as Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau, Clifford’s former colleague with the Knicks and Rockets.
Clifford had four 20-win seasons as a Division II head coach at Adelphi in New York.