The Charlotte Hornets have been searching for a head coach this offseason in the wake of James Borrego's firing. They were unable to make the playoffs this season, and it is easy to see why the Hornets decided to part ways with Borrego and go in a different direction.
While the Hornets originally hired Kenny Atkinson for their head coaching position, he decided to back out of the job due to family reasons. That was obviously an unexpected turn of events for the team. However, the Hornets have recently hired Steve Clifford for the job, according to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
ESPN Sources: Steve Clifford has agreed to a deal to return as the Charlotte Hornets’ coach. Clifford, one of league’s most respected coaches among his peers, led Hornets to two playoff trips in a five-year run that ended in 2018.
We will see whether Steve Clifford ends up being the right hire for the team. Adrian Wojnarowski notably mentions that he led the Hornets to "two playoff trips" so perhaps he can get them to the playoffs with their current core. They have All-Star LaMelo Ball as their franchise player, so perhaps Clifford can get the best out of him as he did with former All-Star Kemba Walker.
Now that their coaching search is done, the Charlotte Hornets can focus on the other important decisions they will need to make in this upcoming offseason. It was previously reported that they were hesitant to match a max contract for forward Miles Bridges, and we'll see what decision they end up making in that department.
The Charlotte Hornets have an exciting young group of players, with LaMelo Ball leading the charge. Hopefully, we see the Hornets and LaMelo Ball get to show what they can do on the highest stage sooner rather than later. Steve Clifford's leadership this upcoming season will be crucial if that is to happen, and him being able to unlock this roster will be a crucial part of how successful the Hornets are next season.