By Sean Deveney
It didn’t take new Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak very long to move on from head coach Steve Clifford, ousting him from the job only a few days into his official tenure running the team. Clifford had been on the sidelines for five seasons, tying him with Allen Bristow for the longest tenure in franchise history.
But it will be back to the drawing board for this team, and there should be a decent field of candidates…
Every team with an opening has an eye on Fizdale, the deposed coach of the Grizzlies, so the Hornets figure to have ample competition. He is considered the ideal guy for a young team in need of development, but the Hornets are more of a team that needs to kick its veterans back into gear.
Silas has been in Charlotte as an assistant for eight years, arriving when his father took over one of the worst teams in league history. He has earned a reputation for his attention to detail and his ability to connect with players.
He is only 45, but he has been kicking around the NBA as a coach and scout for 18 years, and he figures at least to be a candidate here.
Ham has created a nice post-playing career for himself as a top assistant coach, and if you ask around, his name comes up often among front-office types as an assistant who’d make a good head coach. He has some connection to Kupchak, having coached with the Lakers from 2011-13.
One of Michael Jordan’s big mistakes when he was running things in Washington was the trade of Rip Hamilton for Stackhouse, who had one good season, got hurt, then was traded again while Hamilton went on to three All-Star teams. So maybe he wouldn’t want to revisit a Stackhouse reunion.
But Stackhouse has established himself as a coaching name in his two years with the Raptors’ G-League team, and his North Carolina roots earn him some credit.
Blatt is eager to get back into the NBA, and his year-and-a-half with the Cavaliers — 83-40, 14-6 in the playoffs and a trip to the NBA Finals — shows he is worthy of another chance. He’s a very good Xs and Os coach, and if the Hornets believe their problems can be resolved with a new scheme and not a complete rebuild, Blatt makes sense.
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