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The Drive Wednesday 5-29-13 - Steve Clifford and Jeff Van Gundy were both on The Drive to talk about Steve’s challenges with this young Bobcats team, what kind of a man the Bobcats got as a coach, and we talk about the NBA Playoffs so far.
Jeff Van Gundy, the lead analyst for NBA on ESPN, was asked about his longtime friend, Steve Clifford, becoming the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.
“Well, he is a dear friend, but I’m objective enough to know that he is a great basketball coach and it has nothing to do with my friendship with him. He’s got the right confidence, he’s very sincere, he’s reliable, he’s trustworthy.”
The former head coach of the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets was also asked about Steve Clifford’s lack of experience and this being the 50 year old’s 1st head coaching job.
“This idea that the Charlotte Bobcats are getting an inexperienced coach is very wrong. I think they are getting an ultra-experienced coach.”
A priority in the the Bobcats’ coaching search was how a coach deals with his players so the guys asked new head coach Steve Clifford about how important player relations was to him.
“Communication and having a relationship with the players is everything.”
Steve Clifford was a part of a winning culture during his time with the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Lakers. He was asked how he was going to establish his winning culture here in Charlotte.
“First of all, you need your best players to voluntarily cooperate with the process…..I need to establish credibility, relationships(with the players). I think they need to understand that I know what it takes to win big in this league, they need to know I understand the process we have to go through and its not going to be easy and the third component of it all is the staff needs reinforce all that.”