Steve Clifford, in his fifth season as coach of the Charlotte Hornets, was not on the bench Monday night against Orlando due to an undisclosed illness, but that turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Clifford has taken an indefinite leave of absence from Charlotte to deal with a personal health issue, the team announced Wednesday. There is no timetable for his return. Not much is public about the condition.
Hornets Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas will serve as acting head coach.
Clifford, 56, was a long-time NBA assistant under Jeff Van Gundy who is known as a defensive specialist. In his four-plus seasons in Charlotte, he has a 169-181 record and lead the Hornets to the playoffs twice (which is impressive considering the rosters he has been given). Their current 9-13 record has them three games out of the playoffs in the East, the defense has again been solid, but the offense has remained Kemba Walker against the world.
Hopefully, Clifford can make a full recovery from this and be back on the bench soon, our thoughts are with him.