Another NBA head coach has been let go. Early on Friday morning, the Charlotte Hornets announced that they've fired head coach Steve Clifford. According to a report from Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, it was a move that Clifford and his staff were expecting.
The Hornets finished a disappointing 36-46 this season, which left them in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and seven games outside of the playoff picture. This is now the second straight season the Hornets have failed to make the postseason despite having one of the biggest payrolls in the league.
Just a few seasons ago they won 48 games, pushed the Miami Heat to seven games in the first round of the playoffs and appeared to be a team on the rise in the East. Since then, however, they've gone 72-98 in the past two seasons.
Injuries certainly played a role in the Hornets' inability to live up to expectations, and even Clifford himself missed an extended period this season due to health concerns.
Unfortunately for Clifford, the Hornets' front office decided that even with those obstacles, the team had simply underperformed too much, and they needed to make a change on the sidelines.
The good news for Clifford is that, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, the veteran coach may not be out of a job for long. He is reportedly expected to be a candidate for other openings around the league. In the past few days, the Knicks and Magic have also fired their coaches, while the Suns, Grizzlies and Bucks are also going to be looking for new head coaches this summer.