Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford interviewed Tuesday with the Charlotte Bobcats for their head-coaching position, according to a league source.
Clifford had also interviewed last Monday with the Milwaukee Bucks for their head-coaching spot, according to league sources. No offers were made and no follow-up interviews have been immediately scheduled. But Clifford could still be in the mix. According to one sources, Milwaukee also interviewed Nate McMillan and Houston Rockets assistants Kelvin Sampson and J.B. Bickerstaff and former Hawks coach Larry Drew.
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 and partly because Mike D’Antoni’s offense called for a higher tempo.
Former Lakers coach Mike Brown hired Clifford, and was one of five assistants retained when D’Antoni took over following a 1-4 start.
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