Nets Rumors: Former Magic HC Steve Clifford to Be Hired as Coaching Consultant

Blake SchusterContributor IAugust 11, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 07: Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford reacts to a call during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on May 07, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Former Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford is joining the Brooklyn Nets as a coaching consultant to Steve Nash, ESPN's Malika Andrews reported on Wednesday. 

Andrews noted Clifford was the most sought-after assistant coach available, though he won't be on the bench every night moving forward. He's expected to spend time with the club periodically throughout the season.

The 59-year-old previously coached the Charlotte Hornets from 2013 to '18 before joining Orlando. He's also served as an assistant with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Magic. 

In 637 career regular-season games coached, Clifford is 292-345. None of his teams advanced past the first round in four postseason trips. 

Clifford joins a coaching staff that includes Jacque Vaughn, David Vanterpool, Brian Keefe, Adam Harrington, Jordan Ott, Tiago Splitter, Royal Ivey, Ryan Forehan-Kelly and Amar'e Stoudemire alongside Nash.

Clifford previously worked with Nash when he served as an assistant with the Lakers in 2012-13 while Nash played for the team. 

The addition of the veteran coach comes shortly after Mike D'Antoni stepped down as a Nets assistant. The former Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns coach instead signed with the New Orleans Pelicans as a coaching adviser to Willie Green.

It's unclear what Clifford's responsibilities will entail. 

The Nets finished second in the East last season with a 48-24 record before falling to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semifinals. With a fully healthy team expected to return in 2021-22, the Nets will enter the regular season as one of the favorites to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Clifford is now on board to help make that a reality.