Hornets re-hire former coach Steve Clifford after Kenny Atkinson turned down job

Jeremy Brevard / USA TODAY Sports

In one of the more surprising coaching hires in recent memory, the Charlotte Hornets are rehiring someone they let go of in 2018, Steve Clifford, to be their new head coach, the team announced Friday. The Hornets had initially landed on Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson as their head coach, but Atkinson backed out after the Warriors won the championship. That forced the Hornets to pivot, and they landed on a coach they know quite well. 

Clifford coached the Magic from 2013-18 and made the playoffs twice in that span. He was fired at the end of the 2017-18 season and took over the Orlando Magic from there. He took the Magic to the playoffs twice as well, but when Orlando pivoted into a rebuild, the two sides

Friday Night Steelers Six Pack of questions and open thread: Offseason Vol. 18


Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

There is always something to talk about when it comes to the Black & Gold!

It’s Friday again, so it’s time for the six pack of questions. It seems as if Jeff and Dave come to a consensus in cutting to the chase…

This week, I, Dave, will be tasked with the questions up for discussion.

The rules are still the same…

Quick rundown of the ground rules.

  • I’ll ask at least four questions strictly related to the Steelers.
  • The rest of the questions could be about anything.
  • Be respectful.
  • Have fun talking about the Black-and-gold.

Procedural Note: Since the title feature has gone away, please feel free to leave your usual title as the first line of your response and even bold it if you can for the ease of others.

So here we go! With the formalities out of the way, it’s time to jump on in. Hopefully this party is exactly what you’re looking for on a Friday night. Here goes:

1. The Steelers made another big move this week by signing defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi.What was your knee-jerk reaction to the news?

2. Last year Ogunjobi played 64% of the defensive snaps for the Cincinnati Bengals in 16 games as he did not play in their meaningless Week 18 game. This percentage was higher than any defensive lineman on the Steelers in 2021 except Cam Heyward (82%). Do you think the Steelers will use Ogunjobi more or less than he was last year in Cincy?

3. Najee Harris had 381 touches in 2021, the most in the NFL. Do you think he will have more or less touches in 2022? Why?

4. Keeping with Harris, 19.4% of his touches last season came in the form of receptions. Do you expect him to see more, less, or about the same breakdown when it comes to receptions in 2022?

5. In a way-to-early exercise, based on the Steelers current roster and the contract status of those players, what do you think will be their greatest position of need next offseason (either in free agency or draft)?

6. In exactly six months from today it will be Christmas Eve (which also happens to be when the Steelers are set to host the Las Vegas Raiders). In honor of this, what food or drink do you look forward to the most that is typically only around during the holidays?

Stay safe out there!

And it wouldn’t be a Friday night unless we said…

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

PODCASTS

We added some new shows and a new platform to our podcasts…if you haven’t checked out our full lineup of morning, noon, and evening shows, give them a try by listening below!

Grizzlies GM on Danny Green's future: TBD

By | June 24, 2022

What’s the buzz on Twitter? Lauren Rosen @LaurenMRosen
Danny Green is a great player, great vet, and an even better human.
He’s the type of guy who elects to go on the road while injured, in the regular season, just to support his guys from the bench.
His good vibes will be missed by all. Consider me a Mr. Three Rings fan for life. pic.twitter.com/FoURZdy2WD5:41 PM Noah Levick @NoahLevick
Daryl Morey: “We feel like

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Kevin Durant's post-Warriors vision has gone wildly awry in Brooklyn, but hindsight is always 20-20

Getty Images

Suffice it to say, things have not gone as Kevin Durant planned in Brooklyn. Three years, seven playoff wins and one series victory. The only team to be swept out of the 2022 playoffs. James Harden was injured and out of shape and generally a shell of his former self before forcing a trade. Kyrie Irving appears to be on the cusp of a relocation. Durant, who is basically backed into a corner now, is reportedly mulling his own future with the Nets

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors, the dynasty Durant left to try to prove his independent championship merits, just won another title, their fourth in the last eight years, proving Draymond Green’s contentious point that they never really needed Durant to compete for, and win, championships. 

The Warriors, of course, were much

NBA Draft 2023: Victor Wembanyama tops Big Board

By Jason McIntyre
FOX Sports Betting Analyst

The 2022 NBA Draft is over, so it’s time to turn the page to 2023. 

We’re unveiling our first 2023 Big Board, or 25 prospects for the 2023 draft. We did this exercise last year, and of the top 14 on the board, all were drafted, including 11 in the first round. 

Next year’s class is stacked with two elite prospects at the top, followed by a slew of incoming freshmen. Let’s dive in.

1. Victor Wembanyama, F/C, France

The 7-foot-3 superstar from France is fluid and agile, equal parts Rudy Gobert and Kevin Durant. The 18-year-old might be the best draft prospect since Luka Doncic, or perhaps even Anthony Davis.

2. Scoot Henderson, PG, G League Ignite

After averaging 14.3 points per game in his first season in the G-League while just 17 years old, Henderson is going to put up even better numbers and might just challenge Wembanyama for the top spot.

3. Dariq Whitehead, SF, Duke

The NBA has morphed into a wing league, where switchy defenders are paramount. At 6-7, Whitehead might be the best wing in the ACC, if not college basketball. He won’t even be 19 when the draft rolls around.

4. Cameron Whitmore, SF, Villanova

An impressive postseason run in all-star games has bolstered Whitmore’s stock. He won’t be 19 next June, but will need to improve his perimeter shooting to lock in a top 10 spot.

5. Ausar Thompson, Wing, Overtime Elite

Thompson had a solid first season with Overtime Elite, averaging 15.4 points and doing a little bit of everything at both ends. His summer assignment is perimeter shooting, a clear theme for many of the top 2023 prospects. Ausar’s twin brother, Amen, just missed this list.

6. Nick Smith, G, Arkansas

The Arkansas native stayed home and will be the highest profile recruit the school has ever had. Offensive-minded, Smith might be the best guard in the SEC next year.

7. Gradey Dick, G/F, Kansas

Gunning to be the first one-and-done Kansas player since Josh Jackson in 2017, Dick is one of the better shooters in his high school class, and he’ll get lots of opportunities to fire away for Bill Self after the Jayhawks lost their top two wings to the NBA Draft.

8. Dillon Mitchell, SF, Texas

A regular highlight reel, Mitchell is an explosive, big forward at 6-9 and twitchy enough to defend guards. He probably won’t get as many shots as he’d like with Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr returning, but by March, he’ll be a factor in the offense.

9. Keyonte George, SG, Baylor

A scoring machine on the wing, George should put up big numbers in the Big 12, and projects as perhaps a Bradley Beal-type bucket-getter.

10. Dereck Lively, C, Duke

Centers don’t have the value they once did, but 20 years ago Lively would be vying for the No. 1 pick. At 7-2, he’s going to have a massive impact inside for Duke, starting in place of NBA-bound Mark Williams.

11. Arthur Kaluma, PF, Creighton

Kaluma was the best player on the floor for large stretches of Creighton’s NCAA loss to Kansas (24 points, 12 rebounds). He needs to improve his 3-point shooting (26 percent), but is your prototypical NBA wing (6-foot-7, 215 pounds).

12. Anthony Black, PG, Arkansas

Yes, the Razorbacks are stacked, and the 6-7 Black has the potential to be one of their best scorers.

13. Amari Bailey, SG, UCLA

The dynamic guard was utterly dominant at times last season, but goes to a UCLA team where he might have to take a backseat and be a role player after being an alpha in high school. His attacking mentality reminds me of a more physical Cole Anthony.

14. Rayan Rupert, SF, New Zealand Breakers

Rupert would be the fourth draft prospect to come through the Breakers program (RJ Hampton, Ousmane Dieng, Hugo Besson), and

Sources: Clifford to return as Hornets coach

5:39 PM ET

ESPN News Services

Steve Clifford has agreed to a deal to return as the Charlotte Hornets‘ coach, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 60-year-old Clifford spent five seasons coaching the Hornets, compiling a 196-214 record with a team that included Kemba Walker. He led the Hornets to two playoff appearances prior to being fired in 2018 when general manager Mitch Kupchak arrived.

He coached the Orlando Magic from 2018 to ’21 and worked last season as a coaching consultant for the Brooklyn Nets.

The Hornets finished 6th, 10th, 9th, 17th, and 17th in defensive rating during Clifford’s five seasons.

Charlotte was 22nd in the NBA this past season under James Borrego, who was fired in April. The Hornets gave up 132 points in a 29-point loss to the Hawks in the play-in elimination game last season.

The Hornets coaching search was rebooted last week when Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson reneged on

NBA Draft 2023: Early big board of top 25 prospects

By Jason McIntyre
FOX Sports Betting Analyst

The 2022 NBA Draft is over, so it’s time to turn the page to 2023. 

We’re unveiling our first 2023 Big Board, or 25 prospects for the 2023 draft. We did this exercise last year, and of the top 14 on the board, all were drafted, including 11 in the first round. 

Next year’s class is stacked with two elite prospects at the top, followed by a slew of incoming freshmen. Let’s dive in.

1. Victor Wembanyama, F/C, France

The 7-foot-3 superstar from France is fluid and agile, equal parts Rudy Gobert and Kevin Durant. The 18-year-old might be the best draft prospect since Luka Doncic, or perhaps even Anthony Davis.

2. Scoot Henderson, PG, G League Ignite

After averaging 14.3 points per game in his first season in the G-League while just 17 years old, Henderson is going to put up even better numbers and might just challenge Wembanyama for the top spot.

3. Dariq Whitehead, SF, Duke

The NBA has morphed into a wing league, where switchy defenders are paramount. At 6-7, Whitehead might be the best wing in the ACC, if not college basketball. He won’t even be 19 when the draft rolls around.

4. Cameron Whitmore, SF, Villanova

An impressive postseason run in all-star games has bolstered Whitmore’s stock. He won’t be 19 next June, but will need to improve his perimeter shooting to lock in a top 10 spot.

5. Ausar Thompson, Wing, Overtime Elite

Thompson had a solid first season with Overtime Elite, averaging 15.4 points and doing a little bit of everything at both ends. His summer assignment is perimeter shooting, a clear theme for many of the top 2023 prospects. Ausar’s twin brother, Amen, just missed this list.

6. Nick Smith, G, Arkansas

The Arkansas native stayed home and will be the highest profile recruit the school has ever had. Offensive-minded, Smith might be the best guard in the SEC next year.

7. Gradey Dick, G/F, Kansas

Gunning to be the first one-and-done Kansas player since Josh Jackson in 2017, Dick is one of the better shooters in his high school class, and he’ll get lots of opportunities to fire away for Bill Self after the Jayhawks lost their top two wings to the NBA Draft.

8. Dillon Mitchell, SF, Texas

A regular highlight reel, Mitchell is an explosive, big forward at 6-9 and twitchy enough to defend guards. He probably won’t get as many shots as he’d like with Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr returning, but by March, he’ll be a factor in the offense.

9. Keyonte George, SG, Baylor

A scoring machine on the wing, George should put up big numbers in the Big 12, and projects as perhaps a Bradley Beal-type bucket-getter.

10. Dereck Lively, C, Duke

Centers don’t have the value they once did, but 20 years ago Lively would be vying for the No. 1 pick. At 7-2, he’s going to have a massive impact inside for Duke, starting in place of NBA-bound Mark Williams.

11. Arthur Kaluma, PF, Creighton

Kaluma was the best player on the floor for large stretches of Creighton’s NCAA loss to Kansas (24 points, 12 rebounds). He needs to improve his 3-point shooting (26 percent), but is your prototypical NBA wing (6-foot-7, 215 pounds).

12. Anthony Black, PG, Arkansas

Yes, the Razorbacks are stacked, and the 6-7 Black has the potential to be one of their best scorers.

13. Amari Bailey, SG, UCLA

The dynamic guard was utterly dominant at times last season, but goes to a UCLA team where he might have to take a backseat and be a role player after being an alpha in high school. His attacking mentality reminds me of a more physical Cole Anthony.

14. Rayan Rupert, SF, New Zealand Breakers

Rupert would be the fourth draft prospect to come through the Breakers program (RJ Hampton, Ousmane Dieng, Hugo Besson), and

Bradley Beal undecided about his future in Washington

By | June 24, 2022

What’s the buzz on Twitter? Gery Woelfel @GeryWoelfel
Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis, as many expected, went 10th in the draft to the Wizards. He and Beal should make one dynamic backcourt. – 9:05 PM Bill Simmons @BillSimmons
New BS Podcast (2 parts): a whopping 11 guests try to answer burning questions about Thursday’s NBA Draft, Orlando’s big choice, Kyrie’s future, best NBA future bets,

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Jabari Smith on being drafted third overall: Of course I'll use it as a chip on my shoulder

By | June 24, 2022

What’s the buzz on Twitter? David Hardisty @clutchfans
On playing for the #Rockets
Jabari Smith: “It’s good to have brothers you can grow with.”
Tari Eason: “The team is young, they like to get up and down. It fits my style well.”
TyTy Washington: “It’s going to be fun.” – 5:57 PM David Hardisty @clutchfans
TyTy Washington said everybody knows who Jabari Smith is and he’s the guy. He said Jabari also likes to talk trash on the court, which brought out a smile from Jabari. – 5:47 PM Alykhan Bijani @Rockets_Insider
TyTy Washington on Tari Eason: “No one can stop Tari from getting to the rim…He’s just a hooper and wants to go out

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