NBA Basketball

Hornets' Clifford takes leave of absence to address health

Victoria Nguyen 44m ago

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Charlotte Hornets announced Wednesday that head coach Steve Clifford has taken a leave of absence to address an undisclosed health issue.

There’s no timetable for his return, and associate head coach Stephen Silas will serve as his interim replacement.

Clifford, 56, is in his fifth season as Charlotte’s bench boss, having led the club to a 169-181 (.483) cumulative record and two playoff appearances.

Out of respect for his privacy, the team didn’t reveal the health concern. The coach underwent a heart procedure months after he started working for the organization in 2013.

Known as a disciplined team under Clifford, Charlotte commits the fewest turnovers per game and the third-fewest personal fouls. They’re also third in defensive rebounding percentage (81), and at 9-13, the Hornets are three games back of a playoff spot.

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