For the first time in his four-plus seasons as Charlotte Hornets coach, Steve Clifford had significant change in his staff. Lead assistant Patrick Ewing left to coach his alma mater, Georgetown, and veteran Bob Weiss moved on to the Denver Nuggets.
With training camp starting Tuesday at Spectrum Center, Clifford has elevated Stephen Silas to Ewing’s former role and hired Eddie Jordan, a three-time NBA head coach.
Silas, 44, started with the original Hornets in 1999 as a scout for his father, two-time Hornets coach Paul Silas. He’s been with the current organization since 2010, and was a finalist to be the Houston Rockets’ head coach two years ago.
“Around the league, he’s viewed as a head-coaching prospect. He’s knowledgeable, he’s respected by the coaches and he’s creative,” Clifford said of promoting Silas. “He can do everything. When somebody does a great job in your organization, that qualifies for more” responsibility.
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Jordan, 62, has coached three NBA teams: the Sacramento Kings, the Washington Wizards and the Philadelphia 76ers. When Weiss left for the Nuggets, Clifford ideally wanted to replace him with another former NBA head coach. Jordan and Clifford worked together as assistant coaches with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2012-13 season. Jordan was at Hornets training camp a year ago at Clifford’s invitation as an extra set of eyes.
“In that role, you have to have someone telling you, ‘I didn’t like that. I would have done it this way,’” Clifford said. “Games come so fast and furious in an NBA season, there are so many adjustments and decisions made on the fly. Eddie will be honest with me” in providing advice and feedback.
There are two other changes in the Hornets basketball operation: Rick Higgins has been promoted to coaching assistant/video coordinator and Cam Twiss has been named general manager of the Hornets’ G-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell