HoopsHype Steve Clifford rumors

December 21, 2014 Updates

While the Hornets are looking to make changes after a poor start for a team expected to make the playoffs, there is no certainty they will move recently signed Lance Stephenson, whose time in Charlotte has been disappointing at best. According to league sources, Stephenson has clashed with teammates, and coach Steve Clifford has placed the onus of Stephenson’s adjustment on the team’s veteran players, hoping they could police themselves and convince Stephenson to become more of a team player. Stephenson may become a more attractive piece near the Feb. 19 trade deadline, but the Hornets would want value in return Boston Globe

December 8, 2014 Updates

Making the playoffs in his first year with the Charlotte Hornets automatically triggered a team option for the 2015-16 season in coach Steve Clifford's contract, ESPN.com has learned. League sources say Clifford's original three-year, $6 million deal to coach Michael Jordan's team now is a fully guaranteed three-year deal, thanks to the then-Bobcats' surprising 43-39 mark last season, which was good for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. ESPN.com

December 7, 2014 Updates

Clifford, the former Lakers assistant who led the Hornets to the playoffs in his first season, appears bewildered with the results. “I’d say disappointed,” Clifford said when asked his reaction to the poor start. “I thought at this point that we’d be in a much different place than we are. There’s a lot of things — we still haven’t gotten our playing groups down at the same time, we’ve certainly had stretches of games where we played well enough to win. “We have to sustain our play better. We have to keep our eye on getting better, which is what this league is all about.” Boston Globe

November 27, 2014 Updates

After missing his first two shots of the second half Wednesday, Stephenson was replaced by Brian Roberts at the 8:04 mark of the third quarter and didn't return for the remainder of the game. Stephenson had eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in 23 minutes. He was short on answers when asked afterward about his diminished role late in games. "It's Coach's decision," Stephenson said. Pressed further about his status, Stephenson said he's no longer dealing with some of the nagging injuries that slowed him in training camp and entering the season. "I'm not hurt. I'm healthy," said Stephenson, who has seen his playing time reduced over each of the past five games. "There are no more excuses. Hey, it's Coach's decision if he doesn't want to play me in the fourth [quarter]. I'm just going to continue to work hard and do what it takes to win games." ESPN.com

October 24, 2014 Updates

“We’ve had an up and down preseason,” Clifford said. “Some of that is due to injuries, but that right there, that’s an unacceptable effort by most of the guys. If we’re going to play like that, it’s going to be a struggle.” Gaston Gazette

October 21, 2014 Updates

Rick Bonnell: Someone asked Steve Clifford about his health 1 year removed from heart scare. Cliff joked his goal is a "stent-free" season. Clifford was hospitalized early last season with chest pains. Blockage was cleared before a heart attack occurred. Twitter @rick_bonnell

October 14, 2014 Updates

Clifford, who signed a three-year, $6million deal with a team option for 2015-16, raves about his experience with Jordan. "From the time I've been here, I think he's been motivated and aggressive to make our team better," Clifford tells USA TODAY Sports. "And then aside from that ... he's valuable to me because he watches every game. ... He gives me good feedback on what he sees, and he's not afraid to tell me when there are things that he thinks we could be doing better or I could be doing better. But he's also extremely supportive." USA Today Sports

October 9, 2014 Updates

Walker is highly attuned to the value of chemistry from when he led Connecticut to the national championship in 2011. “Every year you have to start over,” Walker said. “The thing about this team is we have good guys as well – new guys, but good guys.” Henderson said a big factor in last season’s success is Clifford’s approach. He minimized in-season drama by being so transparent with each player. “There are no secrets – everything is out in the open,” Henderson said. “You want to know where you stand, and coach Cliff always makes that clear.” Charlotte Observer

September 29, 2014 Updates
September 20, 2014 Updates

Coming off a 43-39 record and a first-round playoff appearance in his first season with the Bobcats (who changed their name to the Hornets during the offseason), Clifford is optimistic he will spend more time on the sidelines this season with a team that can go deeper into the playoffs. “I feel like we built a foundation for how we want to do things and the way we need to play,” said Clifford, who led the Bobcats to the biggest turnaround in the league (+22 wins) and finished fourth in voting for Coach of the Year. “Our defense was really good (ranked sixth in the league). Our offense needs to get better and it was towards the end of the season. I think we have a better roster, and with the work that the guys have done with the team in the off-season, I think we can build on that foundation. CentralMaine.com

September 13, 2014 Updates

Q. Do you see any holes on your roster heading into training camp? Steve Clifford: Noah going down (to injury) means we need to add another big guy. Right now we have four (big) guys who are healthy – Marvin (Williams), Cody (Zeller), Al (Jefferson) and Biz (Bismack Biyombo). Charlotte Observer

July 23, 2014 Updates

Rick Bonnell: Steve Clifford said he'd like a third center behind Big Al and Biz. Said Zeller could play some center, but better suited to power forward. Just to clarify, the No.3 center Clifford described would be a veteran-minimum level player. Just insurance/practice guy. Twitter @rick_bonnell

July 18, 2014 Updates

Coach Steve Clifford sounds OK with the prospect of managing this tradeoff – what Indianapolis media labeled “good Lance” and “bad Lance.” “I think those things are a by-product of the fact that he badly wants to win,” Clifford said in a conference call from Las Vegas, where the Hornets continue in summer league. Our owner talked to him specifically about the fact that those are things that we can work on. He knows that. He knows that sometimes he has crossed the line a little bit. I think he does that out of competitiveness.” Charlotte Observer

July 7, 2014 Updates
June 15, 2014 Updates
June 10, 2014 Updates
April 30, 2014 Updates

The Bobcats made the first major free-agent signing in franchise history last July when center Al Jefferson accepted a three-season contract worth $13.5 million per season. Jefferson dramatically improved this team offensively. Now the coaches and front office hope the chance to play with Jefferson and point guard Kemba Walker will attract other talented players to Charlotte. “I would hope so,” Clifford said at his season-ending news conference. “Guys want to come to a nice place to live and where they have a chance to win. This is a step there. And guys know we have good guys.” Charlotte Observer

April 29, 2014 Updates

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