The Charlotte Bobcats have had a ridiculous amount of coaching changes in the past three years. In the 2011-12 season, the Bobcats fired struggling head coach Paul Silas, who coached the team to a horrendous 7-59 record. Going into the 2012-2013 season, Mike Dunlap was hired as the new coach, and he did not make much of a difference for the struggling franchise as they finished the season with another dreadful record in 21-61.
Now its a new season and yet again a new coach for Charlotte, but this time it is a coach who has a little experience in the association: former Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets and New York Knicks assistant coach Steve Clifford.
Clifford was hired by the Bobcats on May 29, 2013. He is a man who has a well-established background as an assistant coach, but no experience as the head coach of any NBA team. He inherits a Bobcats team that has gone 28-120 in the previous two seasons, and that signals a time for change.
The Bobcats have been in search for a coach that can make a difference for a long time now. They’ve only had one winning season in the history of their franchise, and that one winning season also included their only playoff appearance, where they were swept by the Magic in the first round of the 2010 playoffs.
The Bobcats are hoping that Clifford can be the difference-maker, the guy that can turn this team around and make them truly successful for really the first time in the team’s existence.
Though it might take a little time to make this team a winning group, Clifford has a good roster this year to take a step towards being a successful franchise.
The signing of former Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson will give Clifford the height and rebounding ability he needs in the post for this poor rebounding team (27th in the league last year). Kemba Walker is coming of the best season of his young career and is destined for an even better season this year, and is another player Clifford will have to lean on for quality minutes and consistent play.
If Clifford uses all of the assets this young and talented Bobcats team has to offer correctly (something former coach Dunlap did not do), then they are destined to make great improvements from their past two dismal seasons.
So who is Steve Clifford? Is he just some washed up former assistant coach? Is he just another Bobcats coach who is in line for another season of failure?
In my mind, Clifford is the guy that will turn the Bobcats around from the team that is always in the basement to a team that will contend for a playoff spot in the near future, and the way he is going to make that change is with the young, promising roster he has for the upcoming 2013-2014 season. Improvements are coming, and Steve Clifford is going to bring that for this struggling Bobcats franchise.