First the general manager Al Woods Jersey , now the coach.
In another move aimed at getting the Charlotte Hornets on track, majority owner Michael Jordan fired coach Steve Clifford on Friday after the team went 36-46 and failed to reach the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.
Clifford had a year left on his contract. The move to dismiss him came after his face-to-face meeting Friday with new general manager Mitch Kupchak.
”I want to thank Coach Clifford for his contributions to the Hornets,” Kupchak said in a statement. ”I know he has worked incredibly hard on behalf of the organization and we wish him the best moving forward. The search for a new coach will begin immediately.”
Jordan hired Kupchak on Sunday to replace Rich Cho, who was fired earlier in the season after the Hornets failed to climb out of an early slump.
The Hornets were 196-214 in five seasons under Clifford. They reached the playoffs twice, but failed to make it out of the first round in 2014 and 2016.
Clifford on Wednesday called this a ”disappointing” season because he felt this was his most talented Hornets team. It was a rough season for him in other ways – he missed 21 games because of headaches stemming from sleep deprivation.
He acknowledged that the Hornets ”didn’t make good progress” this year, particularly on defense, his forte.
Clifford is the third NBA coach to be dismissed since the end of the regular season, following Jeff Hornacek of New York and Frank Vogel of Orlando.
Clifford was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers for one season while Kupchak was the general manager there. Kupchak said this week he knew then that Clifford had head coaching potential. But it took Kupchak less than week on the job to fire Clifford.
”The NBA isn’t about winning, the NBA is about winning in the playoffs,” Clifford said Wednesday when asked about his job security. ”So if you want to look back at our five years Jessie Bates III Jersey , and I told our staff this last night, I do feel very good about where we are and how we are perceived versus where it was five years ago.
”We made great gains. To be relevant and respected in this league is a long way from where we started. And I do know people respect how we play, our purpose of play and everything like that.”
But Clifford went on to say that isn’t enough.
”You’re fooling yourself to say that it’s better,” he said. ”That’s not what it is. So you know I don’t have my head in the sand of what this head coaching is all about. Also you can’t walk around like that, I don’t care how many years you have left on your contract, and you can get fired in one week in this league.”
Raised in upstate New York, Chad Brown didn't root for the Bills, the Giants or the Jets when it came to football.
The 39-year-old from Mechanicville was a San Francisco 49ers fan. It was simple. He liked future Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, although football didn't turn out to be Brown's sport.
Brown has become one of thoroughbred racing's top trainers, and his favorite football team now is the New England Patriots. It has nothing to do with Tom Brady.
It's all about Gronkowski Jack Youngblood Jersey , both of them. He likes tight end Rob and the 3-year-old colt named after him who will be a fan favorite Saturday in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.
Whether Gronkowski can challenge Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify and prevent him from becoming the sport's 13th Triple Crown winner remains to be seen.
The name of the horse adds interest to the final jewel of the Triple Crown, of course.
"It works for him," Brown said of the name. "He is going to pick up a few extra fans and that feels good. I am happy people are rooting for him because of his name."
The Kentucky-bred colt has never raced in North America. He has had six starts in England, winning four races and finishing second once. An illness forced him to skip the Kentucky Derby.
Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited, the owners of Gronkowski, decided after the Derby to move the colt out of the barn of Jeremy Noseda in mid-May. Brown has spent the last three-plus weeks getting the colt ready to run again.
While Gronkowski arrived in good condition and has trained extremely well, Brown would have preferred a little more training time.
"If the horse has enough foundation behind him, he is the kind of a horse that can run a mile and a half on the dirt," Brown said Thursday after Gronkowski galloped. "Is he ready for Saturday? We'll see."
Brown said the owners of Gronkowski gave him the option of skipping the Belmont if he felt the colt was not ready. He elected to run.
Brown has an idea what will happen in the race. Gronkowski will run a little behind the leaders and grind out the first 1录 miles. It's the last quarter that's a concern for a colt that has never run longer than a mile in a race.
"This was a very unique situation," Brown said. "This was a horse that was on the Derby trail and then off Hroniss Grasu Jersey , and now here on short notice. It really takes a special horse to be able to catch up to speed and be able to run in a race like Saturday. Based on what I have seen so far, I do feel like he is up to it."
Rob Gronkowski, who is a part owner of the colt, is expected to attend. He's also excited.
"It's pretty wild," Gronkowski said Tuesday after a Patriots practice. "I heard about the horse like a year ago and I saw it, and I was like 'that's cool,' you know? Then all of a sudden it's like the horse is in the Kentucky Derby a year later. So it's pretty wild. It's a pretty cool scenario. Pretty cool situation. It just shows, name the horse my name and it's going to make it, baby."
Besides Gronkowski the horse, Brown also had another runner in his barn partially owned by three former or current Patriots. He has gotten the chance to sit down with Patriots coach Bill Belichick to discuss how their jobs are similar and how they manage elite athletes and people on their staffs.
"I have asked him for advice Karl Mecklenburg Jersey , particularly on leadership, winning, and how to get the most out of people," said Brown, who has 165 employees and 230 horses in his barn. "I find him to be and (have) great admiration for him now that I have had a couple of chances to really sit down with coach and pick his brain. I find him to be really brilliant, a deep thinker and very reserved and calculated about what he says or does. He has enormous experience how to get the most out of people."
For Brown, this is a week in which he will discover just how much he got out of Gronkowski. At worst, it will be a learning experience. At best, Gronk scores big and upsets Justify's Triple Crown hopes.
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