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Nets hiring veteran NBA coach Steve Clifford as consultant, adding to large staff

Brooklyn Nets v Orlando Magic Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Malika Andrews reports that the Nets are adding to their already large coaching staff with the hire of veteran NBA coach Steve Clifford as a consultant.

Clifford spent five years as the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats and Hornets and three years with the Orlando Magic until the two parted ways in June. Clifford took the Magic to the playoffs twice before Orlando’s ownership shifted to a rebuild. Similarly, he twice took Charlotte to the playoffs

Prior to his head coaching career, Clifford had been an assistant with the Knicks, Rockets, Magic and Lakers where he worked with Steve Nash in the 2012-13 season. Before that, he had been a head coach with NCAA programs for 15 years.

Andrews said Clifford will be “with the team periodically throughout the 2021-2022 season,” adding that Clifford, 59, was seen as “the most sought-after assistant in the marketplace.”

Clifford will join a coaching staff with eight assistant coaches and player development coordinator Amar’e Stoudemire. That number doesn’t count the strength and conditioning coach Dan Liburd or physical performance coach Daniel Jones.

Clifford is the third addition to the Nets staff this season. Brian Keefe and David Vanterpool, were named assistants to replace Ime Udoka, now the head coach in Boston, and Mike D’Antoni, now a coaching consultant with New Orleans. D’Antoni was named to the Pelicans job after Nash said the 70-year-old had “retired.” The reasons behind the departure of the two-time NBA coach of the year and Nash’s mentor have not been specified other than he wanted to “step away.”

Clifford is known for his defensive schemes ... and that his teams have strong work ethics.