Shortly after a report surfaced of Steve Clifford being one of three finalists for the head coaching job of the Milwaukee Bucks, the now-former Los Angeles Lakers assistant is the new head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford has been hired as the new coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, a source confirmed to ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne.
Clifford’s contract is for three years, $6 million, the source said, with a team option for the third year.
Steve Dunlap was fired after only one season with the Bobcats leaving yet another head coaching position in the NBA available for the taking. Although not the most desirable position in the league, Clifford will be given his chance to shine leading his own coaching staff in Charlotte for the first time in his career.
The Bobcats are coming off another dreadful year in which the team went 21-61 coming only one loss shy of the worst record in the league during the 2012-13 NBA regular season. The Orlando Magic finished with a record of 20-62 after trading Dwight Howard to the Lakers in a four-team deal before the season forcing the team to basically start from scratch with rookies and pieces acquired in the deal.
Clifford will have a tough task ahead in Charlotte in order to turn things around for the Bobcats after a 21-win season. Despite the uphill battle Clifford is facing in his first year with the team, Charlotte did show some signs of progress with Gerald Henderson emerging as a legitimate offensive threat alongside up-and-comer Kemba Walker.
Along with the promising foundation with Walker and Henderson, the Bobcats also possess the fourth pick in the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft. Clifford and company might be able to get their hands on a promising young prospect to help build this franchise into a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
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