The Charlotte Bobcats officially introduced Steve Clifford as their head coach on Wednesday during a press conference.
Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins and Bobcats General Manager Rich Cho were in attendance for the press conference.
Clifford, a tenured NBA assistant coach, becomes the sixth head coach in franchise history.
“We are excited to have Steve Clifford as our new head coach,” Higgins said. “He brings a strong pedigree and a track record of success to our franchise. He has built a reputation as an innovator, especially defensively, and has experience in multiple systems. We look forward to utilizing his knowledge as we continue to build this team.”
Clifford has his first chance at being a head coach in the NBA after 13 years in the league as an assistant and nearly 30 years of coaching experience overall.
“It’s a great day for me personally, obviously,” Clifford said. “To have the opportunity to be a head coach in this league is the ultimate challenge for a basketball coach. I feel fortunate and ready to get started.”
The Bobcats are coming off of a 21-61 season — tied for the worst record in the NBA with the Orlando Magic.
However, the team is full of young players, including guard Kemba Walker and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Clifford is excited about the talent that the Bobcats possess.
“You either have the right kind of guys or you don’t,” Clifford said. “When you have young guys who are naturally competitive, you have the opportunity to build the kind of culture that you want.”
The Bobcats will also choose fourth in the 2013 NBA Draft, which will be held on June 27.
Clifford already has an idea of the planning and preparation for his team.
“Any good coach has a clear and definitive vision of how they want their team to play and practice, and I have that,” Clifford said. “I have seen what the right amount of work and the right amount of communication can do for a team. Yes, I am inexperienced (as a head coach), but I’m confident, and I know how I want to do it.”