Should There Be a Coaching Change?

As much respect that I have for Clifford as a person/communicator/leader/coach, I think this should actually be a deep discussion with the front office.

After all, its not too often that there are 2 championship winning coaches available to be hired, that are relatively young, and more attuned to the modern game.

Budenholzer and Nurse both have their faults I’m sure, but they’ve elevated their teams to the highest level. You don’t win a championship by accident, even with a great player or even multiple greats on the roster.

I would’ve been fine with going after Quin Snyder after the season, but the Hawks beat us to the punch, and they looked nice and feisty against the Celtics.

Clifford is a great floor setter, but he can’t get anybody over the top. He’s never even won a single playoff series in 9 years as head coach. He’d be the absolute perfect top assistant coach, would get everyone in line, playing hard. But he’s not able to get a team to the next level. And that’s ok - Tex Winter, Johnny Bach, Phil Johnson - all great assistant coaches who were legendary. Cliff should be one of them.

Here’s a look at the coaching comparisons:

10 years, been in 19 playoff series, won 11 series, .604 regular season %, .538 playoff %

5 years, been in 7 playoff series, won 5 series, .582 regular season %, .610 playoff %

9 years, been in 4 playoff series, won 0 series, .444 regular season %, .238 playoff %

9 years, been in 10 playoff series, won 3 series, .580 regular season %, .404 playoff %

One of these things is REALLY not like the others. It stands out badly. I do like Cliff the person, but I feel like this is a move you have to make, a move a serious, professional sport franchise would make, especially since Cliff wasn’t even a top candidate last year, and was a last resort when we were flailing.


I’m with you on this one. Cliff is a good coach but it’s just to many better coaches out there right now to settle for him for another year and then let him go. You have to pounce when you have the opportunity and that is now. I would also like to see Silas come in as an (lead)assistant as well.

I really wish we could hire one of these guys and also keep Clifford. Clifford deserves next year I think and it just feels wrong to let him go. Do you think he’d agree to be an assistant?

The fact that a retread coach emergency hire on basically a yearly renewal plan, who steered the 4th worst record in the league is even being discussed as an option going into the most important year in Melo’s future as a Hornet should tell you everything you need to know about this catastrophe of a franchise.


For highly competitive people, there would be just too much pride to start working for and answering to your replacement. I’d guess he’d either go to tv, or join another staff that needs defensive help.

But whenever you’re trying to accomplish something great, you have to jump at opportunities when they present themselves, as they don’t always come open.

These 2 will get hired this offseason. If we stick with Cliff and miss the playoffs again, he’s probably fired and we have to filter through lesser coaches or unproven assistants again. Engaging with 2 championship winning coaches is not going to present itself next year, so you have to strike now, before other teams start engaging them.

Coach Bud could unlock the full potential of Melo, and allow Mark to play a game like Brook Lopez (defensive player of the year candidate + actually allowed to shoot 3s and be a threat).

There’s no such real thing as the right time for a firing, if there is a chance to upgrade in the business world, then an upgrade should happen as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Are we looking longingly at Bud and Nurse because they are recently turned out or are we being practical as to their potential impact? I have been highly critical of Clifford, even before his last firing, but I am not that certain that the delta between his and these other coaches’ performance is in the coaching as much as it’s in the general management around them. I.e. I don’t know that any of this group are necessarily getting above another on W/L w/ the talent provided. If a coach is going to get us there, they are likely going to have to outperform what they are given to work with. That points more to lightning in a bottle good fortune and why the likes of Ham, Lee, etc. held more interest than the known field a year ago. Not that they were sure things in the realm of exceptional, just they weren’t sure things in the realm of above-average.

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That’s a good question. It’s like in Boston, are Ime and Mazzula incredible coaching talents, or is it more the management created the team and culture for anybody to come in and lead? And if those 2 coached this years Hornets, were they gonna have the same or worse record than Cliff?

Hiring a new coach involves a risk assessment of some sort. Pay bigger bucks to a retread who has seen success at other stops? Trust that a young up and comer will know how to control and navigate a locker room? Evaluating the track record then must be a big part of the assessment.

Cliff’s track record is that he can make any team competent enough and hard working enough to eventually get into the playoffs. But he’s failed to win in them every time. The risk is, even though circumstances may have caused many of these failures or missed opportunities, we also have never seen high achievement level success from his teams. So then can we project that this time will be the time he finally breaks through, or is that too big a risk to make?

Bud’s track record was taking over a decent/mediocre Atlanta team, going from 38 wins to 60 in his 2nd year and to the conference finals and semifinals the next 2 seasons. He then took over a middling, mediocre .500 Bucks team helmed by Jason Kidd, got them to 60 wins, finally out of the 1st round for the first time in 20 years, and into the conference finals and semifinals before finally winning the title his 3rd year.

For that risk assessment, I feel like Bud at least was able to get a team to jump from average into top tier within a couple seasons, and experience postseason success for 2 franchises that had struggled previously.

Nurse’s track record may be harder to follow, since he won in his first year with Kawhi being super human. But he was a highly regarded assistant, and took Casey’s squad two rounds further than they ever could before.

As always, right on point chef. You take the thoughts in my head and craft them into short, simple, and coherent sentences.

But in real talk. I love Clifford. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the hornets fan in me who is addicted to hating himself. But.

In my perfect world, we could hire a guy like Nurse and keep Clifford as the top assistant. You don’t have to explain to me why that won’t happen and wouldn’t work, I know.

Objectively, Cliff has the respect of the locker room and the guys love him. And damnit, I love the way he just dryly says things. I love how he cuts through the “coach speak” and will flat out say “we suck” in a media appearance post game.

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I also really like Clifford. I think he is a really good basketball coach. I don’t like his systems though.

Not sure what his ideal job is. I think he is ideally a 2nd chance u or g league coach. Then one day we get a 30 for 30 or major movie on his story and how he helped 39 mess ups become NBA all stars

Yes QC, despite all the likes and feels, we Should change and upgrade.
But no FO deep thoughts on needed talented improvements, cost $$$.

Clifford is getting paid 4 million next year (possibly still paying JB too), FO deepest coaching thoughts is if when going to pick up club option for 2023-2024.

If a change was going to happen this off-season, it should have already taken place. The ownership situation needs to be resolved first though. I would suspect that a change in ownership will result in a change in FO and coach. Since that hasn’t happened yet, I would expect the status quo until during the season or next off-season. That being said, I would like an upgrade on the bench.

I assume Cliff’s year to year contract speaks to the sale of the team. No long term commitments in something like coaching is probably a benefit.

I’d love to take a shot on an exciting up and coming young coach as an assistant beside cliff. With it clear that cliff is going to hand off the team.

Or just hire a good coach off the bat and hand waive everything I said above.

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this right here

Or we could hire the good coach, tell the media about it, and then have him back out of the job 3 days later after “further consideration” and for “family reasons”.

Let’s do that one!

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I was quite fond of that one episode where they hired the good buddy of the owner, who then traded away a fan favorite, and then got locked out of the locker room of a game later in the season.

I remember we all threw our heads back and laughed and laughed. Good times!


Another big name out. A lot of proven coaches are available this summer…

Yes, there should be a coaching change to Monty Williams as of 10 minutes ago.


Seems like a good dude and coach. Make the change MJ.

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