Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford plans to meet with Charlotte Bobcats officials next Monday and Tuesday regarding their vacant head-coaching position, according to a league source.
Clifford had interviewed Monday with the Milwaukee Bucks for their head-coaching spot, according to league sources. No offer was made and a follow-up interview wasn’t immediately scheduled. But Clifford could still be in the mix. According to one league source, Milwaukee also interviewed Nate McMillan and Houston Rockets assistants Kelvin Sampson and J.B. Bickerstaff.
Clifford first started out in the NBA ranks as an advance scout for the New York Knicks (2000-01) before moving up as an assistant coach (2001-03) under Don Nelson. He then worked as an assistant for Jeff Van Gundy with the Houston Rockets (2003-2007) and for Stan Van Gundy with the Orlando Magic (2007-2012). While Clifford was an assistant the past four years, the Magic finished in the top 10 defensively each season. Clifford held a similar role with the Lakers, though they finished 22nd in total defense (101. points per game) partly because of Howard’s limitations stemmed from offseason back surgery and a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Former Lakers coach Mike Brown hired Clifford, and was one of five assistants retained when Mike D’Antoni took over following a 1-4 start.
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