Photo: Charlotte Hornets/X

Here’s Steve Clifford on what led him to step down as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets (will coach their remaining 2023-24 regular season games and likely move into a front office advisory role).

(via Charlotte Hornets):

“This has been going on for weeks that we’ve discussed things, and you just get to the point I think for me is I just don’t see myself in these next few months having the right energy level, having the ability to get up every day. Look, I’m just like you, your best days start when you feel good, that’s the way it is. When you’re driving in, if you feel not at your best, usually you don’t have a great day… You’ve got to get up. One thing about this is that you’re dealing with the best players in the world, and motivation starts with yourself to me every day, so before you can try to get… Brandon [Miller] is the easy one because he’s self-motivated anyway, but before you can get those guys to have a good practice, you’ve got to get yourself in the right place. And when that becomes difficult to do, you have to look around. I will say this, the grind of this season at 62 is a lot tougher for me than it was at say 55, 56. And it sucks, to be honest, because I do love this, I enjoy it, but you also have to think about the players and think about the organization. 

“I love Charlotte. I love the fans here, people are great to me. I’ve enjoyed this whole thing. The losing these two years has been very, very difficult, but I’ve loved the players. I love Terry Rozier, I can say that, Melo [Ball]. What Miles [Bridges] has done this year… Miles has played 86 minutes in two games, people don’t do that in this league. So there were so many things to feel good about, but again, you’ve got to do your part. When you’re the head coach, you can’t pick and choose now. And if you don’t think you can get yourself to that level every day, it’s not fair to try to do it.”