Clifford fired by new GM Kupchack, Hornets

Coach Steve Clifford, shown here with Hornets star Kemba Walker, has been fired by the Hornets.

Mitch Kupchak told team owner Michael Jordan the Charlotte Hornets needed a coaching change and Jordan gave Kupchack the green light to make one.

That is what Kupchack, the Hornets’ new general manager, did by relieving Steve Clifford of his coaching duties Friday, as first reported by the Charlotte Observer.

Clifford, 56, had been Hornets coach since 2013. He led the franchise to the playoffs on two occasions but finished with an overall record of 196-214.

The Hornets were Clifford’s first job as a head coach. Prior to coming to Charlotte, he served as an assistant with Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets.

Clifford remains highly respected as a coach and a person throughout the league, and will most likely be considered a candidate for openings across the league.

Kupchak was hired as Hornets GM earlier this week after long holding the same position with the Lakers.