NBA: Hornets sign coach Clifford to contract extention

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CHARLOTTE – Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford, who guided the best November run in the NBA club’s history, was rewarded Wednesday with a contract extension.

The 54-year-old American, whose deal is reportedly for three years to 2019 with a team option for a fourth season, has the Hornets at 10-7 to start this season, including a 10-5 November run.

”We like what Coach Clifford and his staff have been doing,” Hornets general manager Rich Cho said in a statement. ”He has done a really good job over the last two years. We want some continuity and we are excited to have him locked down to an extension. He is very organized and an extremely hard worker who has a great rapport with the players.”

Clifford took the job in 2013 after 13 seasons as an assistant coach who bounced around the league for the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets and New York Knicks. In his first season with Charlotte, Clifford guided the team to a 43-39 record and a playoff berth.

”As much as anything, I’m excited about the extension because it’s what I wanted to have happen,” Clifford said. ”I’m appreciative to (owner) Michael Jordan, (vice chairman) Curtis Polk and Rich Cho for the opportunity to see this thing through. I feel like we’ve made good strides since I’ve been here. I like our guys and I like the team that we can become. (AFP)

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