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Steve Clifford returns to Hornets as head coach

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Steve Clifford returns to CharlotteCharlotte

Clifford signs a multi-year contract to return as head coach of the NBA Hornets four years after being fired by the team owner AgreedMichael Jordan, the team announced on Friday night.

Charlotte had previously agreed to become head coach on a four-year contract with Golden State Assistant Kenny Atkinson, who later worked for his family's reasons. I notified the team that I didn't.

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FILE - Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford points during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, on March 31, 2018, in Washington.

File-Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford and Washington Wizards on March 31 Scored points in the second half of the NBA basketball game. 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo / Nick Wass, File)

"I'm happy to be back in Charlotte. Thanks to Michael Jordan, Mitch Kupchak, and Buzz. Take this opportunity to Peterson. " "This is an exciting young team with lots of talented work. Charlotte is a wonderful city and I know directly that Hornets fans are passionate about this franchise. Go back to town and be with us. I can't wait to get started. Players. ”

The 60-year-old Clifford has spent five seasons coaching the Hornets since 2013-18 with a team including Kemba Walker on 196-214. I edited the record.

He was dismissed in 2018 when Kupchak arrived as general manager after leading the Hornets to two playoffs. Clifford has coached Orlando Magic since 2018-21 and has reached the playoffs twice. He spent last season as a coaching consultant in Brooklyn Nets.

Clifford is 292-345 in eight seasons as an NBA coach.

His best season at Charlotte was 2015-16, when the Hornets were 48-34 and lost seven games to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.

Team owner Michael Jordan met Clifford on Wednesday. Clifford left the team in good condition in 2018.

Known as a defensive coach, Clifford has succeeded the eighth-placed team in last season's offensive. However, he is 22nd in defense. The Hornets gave up 132 points with a 29-point defeat to the Hawks in last season's play-in elimination game, which didn't go well with Jordan.

During his eight seasons as NBA head coach, Clifford's team had the fewest committed turnovers and never ended up outside the top five of the league. Also, in seven of his eight campaigns, his team finished in the top two with aggressive rebounds. Top 5 allowed and defensive rebound rates.

Kupchak said he hopes the Hornets will continue to play at a high pace.

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FILE - Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak speaks to the media during a news conference for the NBA basketball team in Charlotte, N.C., April 12, 2019. 

File-Charlotte Hornets General Manager Mitch Kupchak is the NBA on April 12, 2019 in Charlotte, NC. I spoke to the media at the basketball team news conference.  (AP Photo / Chuck Burton, File)

"Steve is the same as fans are used to watching the last few games We've been working on playing at an aggressive pace for years, "Kupchuck said. "To take the next step as a team, he is confident that we can help our young players continue to grow."

Clifford is an All-Star Point Guard LaMelo Ball. , Gordon Hayward, and Miles Bridges have undoubtedly inherited a more talented team than any of the previous Charlotte teams that have fixed the team.

Atkinson's decision to renew his contract on Saturday shocked the Hornets and sent scrambling for a replacement.

Kupchak said it was "disappointed", but in a way thankful for what happened when it happened.

"I think he was a good choice, but if he's not comfortable here, I'd love to know now more than a year from now," Kupchak said in the NBA Draft Thursday night. ..

Mike D'Antoni and Terry Stotts were also considering this work.

Kupchak adjusted the team's draft this year without a head coach, but that's not a big deal, saying he's been working with coaches who aren't in the draft room for the past few years. I did.

The Charlotte team exchanged the 13th overall pick for theNew York Knicks, making four future first and second round picks, marking the Duke Center. Won Williams in 15th place. Charlotte has added Nebraska. Guard Bryce McGowens in the second round after Kupchuck makes another deal.

"The roster really wins the game," Kupchak said. "A good coach will help you with the roster, but the most important thing is to put together the roster."

The general manager, Atkinson, when Steve Kerr declined to work as a Knicks coach. Said his decision reminded him, but he went to the Golden State and won four NBA titles there.

FILE - Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson watches during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Feb. 1, 2020, in Washington.

File-Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson will face the Washington Wizard in the first half of the team's NBA basketball match, February 1, 2020, Washington.(AP Photo / Nick Wass, file)

"(Kerr) seems to have made a good decision, it's a job in the Golden State," Kupchak said. Said with a laugh. 124} Kupchak also pointed out that NFL coach Bill Belichick suddenly resigned before the 2000 introductory news conference with the New York Jets. Belichick coached New England patriots and won six Super Bowls.

"It's also a good desion, so maybe Kenny is working on something," Kupchak said. Atkinson has not responded to an interview request from the AP seeking comment on his decision to cancel his contract. However, Kerr told NBC Sports that Atkinson declined his job because he didn't want to eradicate his family again.