Charlotte Hornets parting ways with Head Coach Steve Clifford

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Clifford coached the Hornets to two winning seasons, including a 48-win squad in 2016 that secured the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Clifford was named Charlotte head coach in May of 2013.

Charlotte's future is capped by large contracts that will see their salary cap balloon to almost $118 million next season if they don't make any moves.

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Clifford is the third coach fired after Jeff Hornacek (New York Knicks) and Frank Vogel (Orlando Magic) were both dismissed from their respective teams after the regular season concluded. "I don't care how many years you have left on your contract".

He acknowledged that the Hornets "didn't make good progress" this year, particularly on defence, his forte.

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The Charlotte Hornets are clearing the deck for new president and general manager Mitch Kupchak. Clifford missed 21 games this season because of headaches stemming from sleep deprivation.

Clifford was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers for one season while Kupchak was the general manager there.

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Charlotte finished 36-46 despite what Clifford on Wednesday called his most talented team. He lead the team to the playoffs twice in his first four seasons.

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