Hornets head coach Steve Clifford stepping down at the end of the season

CHARLOTTE (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) — Hornets head coach Steve Clifford will step down from the position at the end of the season, the announced on Wednesday.

Clifford, in his second stint with the Hornets since 2022, will reportedly move to an advisory role with the front-office next season.

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“This is the appropriate time for me to step down,” Clifford said. “I believe this is best for me and the organization. I’m excited about the future of the Hornets – our young core of players, Jeff’s leadership of our basketball operations and Rick and Gabe’s vision for the organization. I want to thank all the Hornets players and staff for their work the past two seasons and our Hornets fans for their continued support of our team.”

With seven games to go, including Wednesday night home to Portland Trail Blazers, the Hornets have the fourth-worst record in the NBA.

Clifford started his head coaching career in 2013 with the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets, leading the team to only two playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016. After a 196-214 record in five seasons, Clifford was fired at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Before returning to the Hornets at the start of the 2022 season, Clifford spent three seasons as the coach of the Orlando Magic. He only made the playoffs in his first season and was fired at the end of the 2021 regular season after a combined 96-131 record.

Since returning to the team at the start of the 2022 season, Clifford has led the Hornets to a 45-112 record, third-worst in the NBA.

The team says Clifford will remain the head coach of the team for its final seven games, and the search for a new head coach will start immediately.

This is a developing story; check back for updates

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