Hornets Coach Steve Clifford : "All I've Ever Wanted To Do Is Coach"

WFNZ Podcasts
Friday, January 12th

Hornets Coach Steve Clifford joins Primetime to discuss him being back with the team.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Sorry we get some good news yesterday the the minister now for the last eighteen games had coach for the Charlotte hornets. Coming back not tonight Joseph Toomey next week though Washington I'm not on this homestand and done tonight it's going to be. Back to back jazz and thunder over the next two nights we welcome back to head coach Steve Clifford coach are you doing. Doing well tomb on good to be back. If you look good I'm not just told you that just I just see new Ivan senior in awhile maybe that's it the sight for sore and you look good you look for fresh treadmill I do not feel a lot better. On. The doctors talk to Garcia team doctor doctor Joan I'm neurologist who worked through that helped me a lot. And men physically I think a much better place and I was a few weeks ago. So. Can we go back what what happened hikes take us back to consume back to the magic game more started beauty you can point on expect to leading coach that night Stephen stepped in and then. A day later we found you're gonna step away indefinitely so what what's what's been transpiring. Well basically from that point on that I Iraq had headaches issues for a couple of years they've gotten worse and worse pain and that one was severe and also doctor Garcia just felt like I just stepped away from coaching. That's who we got involved also we're talked to Jones and dom. We did and probably about a week or maybe a little bit more testing com they determined that. I don't actually like most petty issues minor external com. Most closely related and things related to the job your stress level. But more than anything travel. And a regular stay regular sleep patterns in the fact they keep saying is I'm getting older. And I have to be able tour just so. Com. They put me on a plane and that is help me sleep more and and I think as much as anything Tom. I'm more rested mom. I've had you know this time chew. You know I think you know what every one of color and I don't think it was exhaustion but I think that. Maybe I hadn't listened to my body that may be worked a little bit more than I should have been and you know I'm just I'm healthier is basically what it is. Corn it's a coach Steve cook for so be back next weekend Stephen south's gonna continue to fill in for the next. Three games and then they'll come back for the wizards game here at Dodd next Wednesday. How long you've been dealing with us Stephen annum on Marlowe or maybe you look back now do you think. And I thought that was just a headache for you look back me think maybe no those are those warning signs of some bigger that was going on yeah I mean who owe more actress had Jew wrong. Talk to doctors from the case was about two years ago the years that. When we lost to Miami in the play off some after the all star break. Where is calm I start to have headaches are just take him Tylenol extra strength. Got to the point where there was a strong enough and now want to strict. He got doctor Garcia involved and then I sort of taking. Stronger pills every time I got them. In the offseason and wouldn't be much more problem last year. I think we ought to dose is one song because sold the pills are taken more. Strong enough and they got significant enough slasher so they ME doing memorized but. Nothing like that you know the one stretch. Before the Orlando game that was the first time when you know it just concerned me. And hard to compare but I mean you tell what party she's got a couple Stinson so and that was your first year here. Can you compare the two on the went from a scare from a threat level and see how you're feeling and how you're concerned look on all let's have gone to both of those things out of date compared to one another did this tour is. Much scarier much more significant for me I mean the sense. I think there's two things one is a procedure the procedures over and they can say that went well you don't take these pills and we're good to go. This one is more open and it and this one speaks more to. You. You know how I live how I handle my job how arbitrary our prioritize my day. And it was also frankly a lot more painful com. So. In terms of being concerned. This is being in I would say you know much more life altering event in the heart scare warrants. We're talking to Steve Clifford ordered six coaches to be back next Wednesday after missing these studies eighteen games still three more jazz and under Friday Saturday and then Detroit in Detroit on MLK day. When when you take a step back in so you're terminate is lifestyle change stuff you're talking about now I mean that that's where really kicks in of OK I've I. Got myself to get medically clear here rip. There's a maintenance thing many stats and and lifestyle change and its attitude keep this moving forward. No question in you have to commit to it com. I think dead. When I actually. Had a written plan of myself for his job in terms of delegating well our staff here in terms of how much I would be involved when I came back and I gave that to talk Garcia got to Joan de looked added. We talked about it in Lancaster. And then they have some things obviously that they want me to continue wins but. You don't want people say you know I have to do like I chips and I have to do my job differently. And they were constantly correct to say you know you have to live differently so there are just things as we've talked about from. You know finding a way to decomposed relaxed during the day I think for me a lot of it has to be. The working help Hartford stress relief but the biggest thing and they keep reiterating this to me and if they're people of Tim Burton you know who have problems or headaches. Is the biggest thing for me as lack of sleep can pay and I think especially on. As you get older arm and maybe your bar requires more sleep than you realize but for me. You know as he told me the other day it's 85 to 90% of it. Do you get a ton new lease on life home from a coaching standpoint and and when you step away for a little bit you come back do you. He'll he won't recognize how awesome this job is even more but also two bit. It is and everything coming there's there's two different things right but I mean the fact he had he had a great job but managed jobs can be conducive I think Steve too that's gonna kind of be interesting to reconcile. Yeah I didn't think you know I've worked for. Guys that. I would say were at the high end the work hard in this league. And then I've also worked for terrific coaches who were hard workers and none of them were not hard workers. But did it in a different way and I've always believed that you have to coach just like you doing your job you have to find a way that's comfortable for you. I have to have a comfort level. That our team will be prepared to play in that I'm doing your job at helping them so long doing my part. But I do you have to live in a way that helps and in this case sleeping more is a priority in that. His eye opening to me com. But it is something that normally commit to. What what have you learned about this team could you been watching so what it would. Seeing what we see on TV you've got a different sides of the stuff sort what did you seemed to step away and getting a macro view the team over the last few weeks well Howard's. Say that. I think like most teams is what you're trying to do. In the first part of an NBA season. Because you're trying to establish a team. Where you can play well every night home rolled regardless some opponent. And you know I think there were getting closer to that. I believe that the injuries. Are early in the year really set us back. And you know. You we've had stretches where we've played well I mean we just have a road trip Torre played well we had a stretch early in the year you know you go back to it. You know clippers Minnesota Washington home and then lose by one on the Rory Cleveland where I felt like we were right they are tour. Getting some things accomplished com. Kenya when you look at it right now we're you know we're 21 an offense that's not going to be good enough and were eleventh in defense. Which to me. Again and it's not going to be good enough to get to where we wanna go. And that's every team or most every team where you have to find a balance where to play and it just point is not about reinventing yourself if you look kids. The majority of major statistical categories. And you look at our team most of it makes sense but unfortunately as it did last year to for the most part so a lot of this is. A small thing here a small thing near incorporating. It bomb. And then make you may have become more of who we are. Well I think one of those things you mention it meeting with the media earlier and I I didn't throw this out there I go back tell one look looked at some of the numbers of the road trip to do your guys see you mentioned stealing you're averaging what three more steals per game during the road trip two percentage of points coming from the fast break was way up. And not only that your three point shooting attempts and percentage were way up to which I think tells you. When the defense leads to offense you see how you can always a magic things same shooter you guys again some different looks in the office looks totally different note. Question no Anne and I and that's such a you don't defensively. If we can do that you know and then still maintained. The other parts of our defense. Then I think that will be in good shape that the tough thing about relying on. Stealing the ball the way we have to do it is there are teams like you know this team coming in here tonight. They have guys this steal the ball. You know we only really like Carter Williams is gonna steal the ball on the matter we place for. We have some really good defenders Tribune almost till the ball actually. We have some really good defenders but two or more containment type players which is actually. In terms of when he more important stealing the ball and so we have to do things dramatically. To do that now you're also gonna hit stretches in schedule. Where you play teams that don't turn the ball over so like for instance going into Dallas Steve and I talked about a look. They're not gonna turn the ball I mean I don't care when they play Golden State they're not turn the ball over. You play certain teams because so much of what you can do defensively until much who overpowered people which generally is difficult to do. Com. You know you can only do so much we just have to be. Okay added you know we have to get better at it. And I don't think there's anything more than that defensively. That I would prioritize right now. Sir could truly go amid a couple more things Lawrence Korda said coach Steve Clifford and here you've gone way and one of the things that it's started to come up some of the national guys are saying hornets need to trade embodies an asset it's a way out for this team I ask coach Silas about this yesterday I mean he pretty much settled he lasted often and TO you guys have been here through the through the good and the bad of this and chemist interest seven win season coach Silas is seen some of that up close and personal to so this notion that kemba. He's a way out for this team to. And whatever that means but that's what people writing right now what would you what do you make it that you know kemba as well as well as anybody. Yeah I mean little for so I'd be shocked too if you wanted to look I mean he's building a house fringe character so I mean I don't. I think did if you spores spoke with him I think it is. Plan is to you know be here com the second part is is that he's our best player com. And winning in basketball starts it to us at the top of your roster so. I mean look I've been horrendously. Long enough to know that you never say never I know Michael loves chem armies through people teams love kemba. I just I can't see a scenario where that would play out. When you said when the season started he thought top ten and office top five in defense could be realistic as you said 21 an officer eleven the defense right now. If you think those things can improve you also thought this is the most talent across the river had hearings in five seasons so. Excuse do you still feel strongly about those convictions. I feel. I feel this is or this is the most talented team we've had here potential is rice that potentially could just like any other team if things go well. Can we be a top ten offense. I don't know about that I think that's going to be a stretch kill would be a talked. Five defensive team I think that we can't stand. You know I think also you have to look back on we played. So tonight is game 39. You know we played fifteen games I think approximately fifteen. Without nick and without an KG. And they both came back from having missed. Sustain your pretty pretty significant amount of time. Then you've got to get some games where they can get. You know basically their feet under him and I think the other part is if you combine that with the fact that. You know you add a big piece like Dwight. That splits up the pieces of the pie for everybody else a little bit more significantly offensively. And I think there were still now. And getting more comfortable that way so. You don't look where we're. Not even halfway through this season were five games out. We've played the most difficult schedule now we've had more than our share of health issues so. Now that being said is still the same thing we have to play better and we have to find ways to play better. And you know but again that's what team it is all about. And this is the part as we close where I get honest with you you isolate you were singling me out when you set up people talk about great wins and bad losses and I'm I'm might give me an I don't know if it was an over reaction might got a little hot under the collar yesterday about what happened I guess a maverick some just Elliott took we need to be honest with each other that might have them just put that out there. There's nothing wrong word transparency and listen this. I think jury you know how I feel when you play in this league and when you're coaching this week it's all fair you know soft fair look through these are great jobs and my dad taught me a long time ago because he was a coach. And he should you sure you wanna do decisive moment a coach he said well. Here's a minute tell you if you're looking for every day affirmation don't call each end so I think what you do. The fans everything that's all fair. I mean to tell you if there wasn't a date when by the and our listeners were saying they were coach house coach Joseph can you say something what's going on. And done you've been missed it and everybody's glad your okay first and foremost and more about basketball later to welcome back good to see.