Although Charlotte Bobcat fans want to make a big deal out of it, Steve Clifford‘s appointment as new head coach should get a ho-hum reaction from general NBA observers who realize it’s going to take more than a new coach to turn around the franchise.
Clifford comes in with excellent credentials, but there’s usually not a coach that takes an NBA position who doesn’t have impressive credentials to some degree.
Clifford brings in 28 years of experience and has been with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets. His teams have made the playoffs in nine of the last 10 seasons. But that was as an assistant coach.
But he wasn’t coaching the Bobcats. That’s the challenge.
It was good timing to bring Clifford in now so he can provide his input on several key aspects of the Bobcats franchise.
First is the selection of the No. 4 pick overall in the draft. The Bobcats have to come up with scenarios on whom they would select if they’re available, but Clifford needs to lend his ear to that discussion and figure out how that player will blend in with the rest of the team.
Second, Clifford needs to figure out how Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can step up his game next season and provide the type of year that you would expect from a highly touted draft pick. He obviously didn’t live up to his expectations as a rookie.
Third, he needs to reassure Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker that they are the leaders of this team, they are deeply appreciated and he needs them to give it everything they’ve got for 82 games the entire season. They also need to stay healthy, he should remind them.
Fourth, Cifford needs to tell his bosses whether or not they should keep veteran Ben Gordon and what other players from last season deserve another shot on the team.
The Bobcats won’t be a playoff team overnight. But Clifford needs to make sure he has a team going in the right direction.