WEDNESDAY, 1:33pm: The Bobcats have made the hiring of Clifford official, announcing the move in a press release.
"We are excited to have Steve Clifford as our new head coach," said president Rod Higgins in a statement. "He brings a strong pedigree and a track record of success to our franchise. He has built a reputation as an innovator, especially defensively, and has experience in multiple systems. We look forward to utilizing his knowledge as we continue to build this team."
MONDAY, 5:13pm: The Bobcats are set to hire Steve Clifford as their next head coach, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The Lakers assistant will receive a three-year, $6MM deal with a team option on the third year, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
The longtime assistant came to L.A. under head coach Mike Brown. Clifford spent most of the last decade working for Jeff and Stan Van Gundy as a defensive specialist before joining up with Brown and the Lakers. He'll now be charged with turning around a woeful Bobcats franchise that is coming off of a 21-61 campaign.
Clifford was also in the mix for the vacant Bucks job. With Clifford out of the running in Milwaukee, the Bucks search will now focus on Larry Drew and Kelvin Sampson, tweets Wojnarowski. Each candidate has second interviews coming up this week.
The Bobcats fired Mike Dunlap last month following just one year at the helm in Charlotte. The former St. John's assistant coach managed to improve upon the club's dreadful .106 winning percentage but rubbed people in the front office the wrong way and found himself at odds with veteran guard Ben Gordon.