How Clifford is Turning Charlotte Around

An old one (written in February 2014), but one of my favorites: a great look at the coaching philosophy of Steve Clifford, head coach of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Good stuff here on culture change, the need for a head coach to have a “leadership model,” Clifford’s upbringing in a basketball family, and the role of analytics in coaching. One more thing I liked: how Clifford talks about Charlotte as a “talented defensive team.” The term “talent” isn’t used often in regards to defense a lot and I think that’s a mistake. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has defensive “talents” that the next guy on the roster doesn’t. We often talk about defensive strictly in terms of scheme or investment, but the truth is that there are talents on that side of the ball just like there is on offense.

“Most athletes, but particularly NBA players, that’s all they care about. It’s relationships and all that but at the end of the day, they’re pro players. If they think that you can help them play well as individuals and as a group, they’re going to listen to you. If they don’t think you can help them or know what it takes to win in this league, they’re not going to listen to you. For me, especially since I’m not not an ex-player, it’s about helping them play well and then establishing credibility that I knows what we have to do to play well to win.”


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