Report: Bobcats set to hire Lakers assistant as head coach

Report: Bobcats set to hire Lakers assistant as head coach
May 27, 2013, 6:45 pm
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Perhaps only basketball diehards are familiar with the name Steve Clifford. Seeing as the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets have reached an agreement in principle to hire him as their new head coach according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, it's time to get acquainted with the longtime assistant, especially those interested in the Southeast division.

If the hire goes through, there is a chance the D.C. area will be very familiar with one of Clifford's potential assistants.

After serving as Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni's right-hand man last season, Alexander would take over for Mike Dunlap, who was fired after directing the Bobcats to a 21-61 record in his only season with the team.

Besides his stint in Los Angeles, Clifford served as an assistant in New York, Houston and Orlando, and worked under both Jeff and Stan Van Gundy. Clifford had four 20-win seasons as a Division II head coach at Adelphi in New York.

Wojnarowski reports that work remains on the contract language. Any lengthy delay could become interesting seeing as Clifford is also a reported finalist for the Milwaukee Bucks head coaching job. Charlotte offered the job to Clifford the job before he traveled to Milwaukee on Tuesday for a second interview, Wojnarowski reported.

As for the possible notable assistant, Clifford is reportedly targeting former NBA and Georgetown star Patrick Ewing. Perhaps under the Hall of Famer's tutelage a viable center will emerge, but right now the Bobcats, who will switch to the Hornets in subsequent seasons, are lacking a standout big man - or a standout at any position.

Clifford can build around the backcourt of Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson, energy small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the No. 4 pick in the upcoming 2013 draft. Center Bismack Biyombo made strides this past season and veteran guard Ben Gordon can always score. 

If that doesn't sound like much to work with, its not. Good thing for Clifford is that outside of the Miami Heat, the rest of the Southeast division is unsettled, though the Bobcats continue to be the unsettled off them all.