The Charlotte Hornets and head coach Steve Clifford have agreed to a three-year contract extension earlier this week. The 54-year-old mentor has been with the Michael Jordan-owned franchise since 2013 leading the team to a single postseason appearance in his first two seasons with the team.

Clifford, who served as a scout and assistant for other NBA teams since 2000, has led the Hornets to a 43-39 regular season win-loss record in the 2013-2014 season and 33-49 record in the 2014-2015 season.

The Charlotte Observer confirmed the new deal between Clifford and the Hornets.

After a poor start in the current regular season, Clifford and the Hornets are now at 9-6, good for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte is just a half game behind the Miami Heat (9-5) for leadership in the Southeast Division.

The Hornets started the season with three straight losses but has since gone 9-3 and are currently on a four-game winning streak with wins against the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards.

The Hornets are one of the teams playing well in the early part of this NBA season despite missing star defensive wingman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is out for the season due to a shoulder injury.

Clifford was hired by the Hornets as head coach on May 29, 2013 and immediately made the team more defensive-minded which led the team to their first postseason appearance since 2010.

Clifford’s NBA stint the past decade include being an advance scout and assistant coach for the New York Knicks (2000 to 2003) and assistant coach for the Houston Rockets (2003 to 2007), Orlando Magic (2007 to 2012) and Los Angeles Lakers (2012 to 2013).

With the Knicks and Rockets, he was an assistant to veteran coach Jeff Van Gundy, who is known for his defensive system when he was still a coach in the league.

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