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The shocking move Charlotte could make after Kenny Atkinson’s Warriors flip-flop

The Charlotte Hornets appeared to find their successor to James Borrego, agreeing “in principle” to a contract with Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson. Only, Atkinson backed out and decided to return to Golden State as an assistant, citing family reasons. The Hornets, back at square one, are rumored to be considering a pretty shocking move at head coach. NBA reporter Marc Stein has the details.

There is some serious mounting buzz that former Hornets coach Steve Clifford, who already coached in Charlotte for five seasons and took Michael Jordan’s team to the playoffs twice, has emerged as a candidate to make a return to the Queen City as Jordan scrambles to fill the massive void on his bench following Kenny Atkinson’s shock decision to stay in Golden State as an assistant.

Stein says there is “mounting buzz”, no pun intended, that former Hornets coach Steve Clifford is a candidate for the job after Atkinson’s Warriors decision.

The Hornets’ other candidate, Mike D’Antoni, is set to meet with owner Michael Jordan this week. Stein makes it clear that Charlotte is looking for an experienced name, hence their interest in Atkinson, who was previously the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

Clifford, 60, was a coaching consultant for Steve Nash’s Nets this past season. His most recent experience pacing the sidelines came with the Orlando Magic, where he was the head coach from 2018-21.

During that span. Clifford’s Magic posted a winning record just once, 42-40 in 2018. Before that, Clifford was the head coach of the Hornets for five seasons, making the postseason twice.

Clifford had health issues before his firing in 2018, so he appears to be in a better state physically if he is a serious candidate for the Hornets job.

Will he be back with the Hornets? Time will tell.

NBA, Rockets, Jalen Green, Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr.

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