Hornets coach Steve Clifford taking medical leave

Pauline Gross
December 7, 2017

The team announced on Wednesday that head coach Steve Clifford will step away from the team to deal with an undisclosed health concern.

Associate head coach Stephen Silas is serving as acting head coach in Clifford's absence. Stephen Silas will serve as the team's interim coach.

Clifford, 56, was hired as head coach of the then-Bobcats in 2013 and led Charlotte to a playoff appearance in his first year.

Charlotte is 9-13 and in third place in the Southeast Division. Silas' primary task will be helping Charlotte turn around its road woes, considering the Hornets are 1-10 away from home this season. Silas and Mike D'Antoni were reportedly the finalists for the Rockets job when it opened in 2016. Beyond that, he's been an assistant coach in the league nearly steadily since 2000, save for his time as a scout for the Washington Wizards.

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An indefinite timetable to return invites speculation about Clifford's health, and his status going forward.

The Hornets host the Warriors Wednesday.

The Hornets did not provide additional details.

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