Charlotte Hornets fire coach Steve Clifford after 5 seasons

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Well, all we can say about this is it's not much of a surprise.

Steve Clifford is out as Hornets head coach.

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. The Hornets finished the 2017-18 campaign with a 36-46 record.

The 56-year-old Clifford will be considered for other head coaching vacancies in the National Basketball Association. New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel were both fired earlier this week.

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In February, Hornets chairman Michael Jordan announced the team would not extend the contract of former general manager Rich Cho, leading to Kupchak's hiring.

The move comes after a meeting with new general manager Mitch Kupchak on Friday. He also said this group lacked the "spirit" of previous versions, and several key players - including All-Star point guard Kemba Walker - agreed.

The Hornets were 196-214 in five seasons under Clifford. He missed part of this season because of headaches stemming from sleep deprivation.

In his last Charlotte media availability Wednesday, Clifford was typically candid, saying the team didn't have enough positional size or versatility to be as good defensively as it needed to be.

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