Basketball: NBA Hornets dump Clifford as coach after five seasons

Charlotte Hornets fire coach Steve Clifford

Charlotte Hornets fire coach Steve Clifford

Clifford came to Charlotte on May 29, 2013, after spending the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach for the Lakers.

The 56-year-old coach led the Hornets to a 36-46 record this season, finishing 10th in the East and missing the playoffs for a second straight season, the third time in five years.

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.

Clifford figures to be in play for some of those openings, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

"I want to thank coach Clifford for his contributions to the Hornets", Kupchak said in a statement.

In February, Hornets chairman Michael Jordan announced the team would not extend the contract of former general manager Rich Cho, leading to Kupchak's hiring.

The move comes after a meeting with new general manager Mitch Kupchak on Friday.

"The NBA isn't about winning, the NBA is about winning in the playoffs", Clifford said Wednesday when asked about his job security.

Clifford is the third National Basketball Association coach to be dismissed since the end of the regular season, following Jeff Hornacek of NY and Frank Vogel of Orlando.

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