Team owner Michael Jordan recently hired a new GM, Mitch Kupchak, which likely spelled the end for Clifford.
According to reports from both Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Steve Clifford has been fired as the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, joining Jeff Hornacek of the New York Knicks and Frank Vogel of the Orlando Magic as the coaches that have been fired after the National Basketball Association regular season ended. They were swept 4-0 by the Miami Heat in the first round that season, but with Kemba Walker emerging as a star and the team rebranding as the Hornets ahead of the 2014-15 season, the franchise appeared to be in the early stages of an organic come-up after several years of despondent performances.
Clifford coached the Hornets to two winning seasons, including a 48-win squad in 2016 that secured the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
"I know he has worked incredibly hard on behalf of the organization and we wish him the best moving forward". The growing list of teams searching for its next head coach includes Orlando, New York, Phoenix, Milwaukee and Memphis.
Kemba Walker will also enter the final year of his deal next season, and after Michael Jordan's odd trade deadline comments, it's reasonable to assume that the Hornets may consider dealing him and moving onto a rebuilding process of some manner.
Stackhouse, also mentioned in connection with the Knicks and Magic jobs, has coached the Raptors 905 to the G League Finals the past two seasons. Injuries were an issue for the Hornets, and Clifford missed an extended period this season due to health concerns.