Steve Clifford to Step Away from Hornets Due to Health, No Timeline for Return

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 22: Coach Steve Clifford of the Charlotte Hornets watches on as they play against the Washington Wizardson November 22, 2017 at Spectrum Center 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.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brock Williams-Smith/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets announced in a press release Wednesday morning that head coach Steve Clifford will be away from the team for the "immediate future" to address medical concerns.

"Currently, there is no timetable for his return," the team said in its statement. "Hornets associate head coach Stephen Silas will serve as acting head coach. Out of respect for Clifford's privacy, the Hornets will have no further comment at this time."

Clifford, 56, didn't coach in the team's 104-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday evening and wasn't at the team's Tuesday practice, either, per Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

Clifford has served as the head coach of the Hornets since the 2013-14 season, leading the team to a 169-181 record and two postseason appearances. Charlotte has started this season 9-13.

He previously served as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks (2000-03), Houston Rockets (2003-07), Orlando Magic (2007-12) and the Los Angeles Lakers (2012-13).

Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post and Zach Lowe of ESPN.com spoke highly of Clifford while wishing him well: 

Silas has been a longtime assistant in the NBA, coaching for the Hornets/New Orleans Pelicans (2000-03), Cleveland Cavaliers (2003-05), Golden State Warriors (2006-10) and the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets (2010-present).

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