Steve Clifford, come on down. It’s your shot at the “rebuilding the Bobcats” job.
Clifford, who spent last season as an assistant with the Lakers, has reached an agreement to be the new coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (and since confirmed by other sources). This is a three-year, $6 million deal with the last year being a team option, reports Sam Amick at the USA Today.
Clifford was hired to replace Mike Dunlap, who was let go after one season.
Clifford is expected to hire Patrick Ewing as his lead assistant, reports Wojnarowski.
Clifford has worked around a few places as an assistant, including for both Van Gundy brothers — Jeff in New York and Stan in Orlando.
Clifford had interviewed in Phoenix and was one of three finalists for the Milwaukee job, which prompted Charlotte to act.
The question simply is “can Clifford help develop players and start to instill a strong system?” Because on the court the Bobcats are going to lose a lot of games next season, they are not going to be a good team. But as we saw last season in Orlando under new coach Jacque Vaughn, you can have a bad team that plays hard and to the best of its ability, with signs of things to grow on.
That’s what they need in Charlotte. A first step.
Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.
Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.
However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.
This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.
But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.
For now, however, tounges are wagging.
The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).
However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.
Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.
Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.
Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.
If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.