Charlotte Hornets fire coach Steve Clifford after 5 seasons

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The growing list of teams searching for its next head coach includes Orlando, New York, Phoenix, Milwaukee and Memphis.

Injuries certainly played a role in the Hornets' inability to live up to expectations, and even Clifford himself missed an extended period this season due to health concerns. Clifford's the first to lose 46 games in consecutive years despite finishing with a positive point differential both times.

In February, Hornets chairman Michael Jordan announced the team would not extend the contract of former general manager Rich Cho, leading to Kupchak's hiring. He acknowledged that the Hornets "didn't make good progress" this year.

Unfortunately for Clifford, the Hornets' front office decided that even with those obstacles, the team had simply underperformed too much, and they needed to make a change on the sidelines.

Clifford is the third National Basketball Association coach to be dismissed since the end of the regular season, following Jeff Hornacek of NY and Frank Vogel of Orlando.

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Kupchak took over Monday night.

Charlotte qualified for the NBA Playoffs in 2013 and 2016.

"We made great gains. And I do know people respect how we play, our objective of play and everything like that".

"You're fooling yourself to say that it's better", he said. So you know I don't have my head in the sand of what this head coaching is all about. "You can get fired in one week in this league".

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