Steve Clifford emerges as finalist for Charlotte Hornets head coach gig – Sportsnaut

It’s ok to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Could that be what Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets are on the verge of announcing?

Steve Clifford was recently the head coach of the Hornets, from 2013 to 2018, when he was fired from the organization, leading him to lead the Orlando Magic for the past three seasons. Now, Clifford could be set to return to the Hornets after three consecutive disappointing seasons in Florida.

Hornets coaching vacancy could be filled soon with Steve Clifford

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As the Hornets continue to progress in their coaching search after Kenny Atkinson backed out of a reported four-year deal that he never actually signed, they appear to have keyed in on two finalists — Mike D’Antoni and Clifford.

D’Antoni met with Michael Jordan and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Tuesday, and he was originally the other finalist before the organization decided on Atkinson. But now it appears Clifford has somehow gotten his foot back in the door.

According to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer, Clifford also met with MJ and Kupchak this week about the Hornets’ coaching vacancy and has emerged as a ‘serious candidate’ to land the gig.

Clearly, Clifford has previous ties to the organization, having gone 196-214 during his five-year tenure, in which they reached the postseason twice. Maybe they weren’t blown away by D’Antoni’s interview, or maybe they realized things weren’t so bad with Clifford and wanted to see how he’d compare, or what approach he’d take with LaMelo Ball and Co.

Either way, it appears the Hornets once again have two finalists for the gig. Will D’Antoni get a chance to bring his fast-paced offense to Charlotte, or will Clifford get a second chance? We should find out soon enough.

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