The Nets have introduced two-time head coach Steve Clifford on as a advisor. However Clifford isn’t going to be an assistant, and he advised The Submit he’d be much less of an adviser and extra of an asset, used nevertheless the coaches or entrance workplace see match.
The position remains to be being clarified, however in essence, it’ll be no matter Steve Nash or GM Sean Marks wants.
“Steve and I’ve had a number of discussions about one of the simplest ways for it to be structured. However mainly I’ll be working for Steve and perhaps in some cases for Sean on any space that they view I might be useful with,” Clifford mentioned. “On any workers, workers chemistry is rather like group chemistry. Steve’s the top coach, he’s already confirmed to be terrific at that; they’ve a veteran workers, a proficient roster.
“All people that’s added — like myself, which might be clearly a smaller position — the one factor I’ve discovered over time is workers chemistry is decided by all people on the workers taking route from the top coach, and doing nearly as good a job as you may within the areas you’re given to focus on. That’s what I’m going to do.”
The defensive-minded Clifford was head coach in Charlotte for 5 years (fourth in Coach of the 12 months voting in his debut marketing campaign) and in Orlando for 3, earlier than parting methods with the Magic in June. It left the 59-year-old as “probably the most sought-after assistant within the market,” based on ESPN.
Now he’ll be working beneath Nash, whom he’s recognized since he was a Lakers assistant in 2012-13, when Nash was the purpose guard.
This offseason Nash misplaced offensive coordinator (and mentor) Mike D’Antoni and defensive coordinator Ime Udoka. He changed them with Brian Keefe and David Vanterpool, however gladly added Clifford’s basketball thoughts to the combo — even when Cliford isn’t round daily, or taking a hands-on position as defensive coordinator.
“If there’s one thing defensively that I may help with, clearly for positive. What I need to do is be an asset. However I’ve had folks ask me: ‘[Are you] going to be in control of the protection? Completely not, neither is that what they want,” Clifford mentioned.
“I wouldn’t see it as advisory as a lot because it’ll be extra probably a useful resource, somebody who research. … Possibly they play a sport early within the yr the place Steve or Sean or any person on the workers likes a defensive scheme that the opposite group is utilizing, or one thing they’re doing out of certainly one of their offensive units that may be useful. As soon as the yr will get going and all people has their duties, it’s laborious so as to add work onto the group. So I’d see my position might be one thing like that.
“They name me [and say,] ‘Hey, watch this group, watch the final X variety of video games and provides us a abstract of what you see.’ I’d see it extra that means than advisory. … So, discovering ways in which I might be useful, locking into the issues that Steve and/or Sean need me to do.”
With Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving again wholesome, the Nets are favored to win the title, and Nash the second favourite to earn NBA Coach of the 12 months. Clifford insists studying from that quartet is a giant motive he took the job.
“You be taught a lot from gamers of that caliber. So yeah, clearly it’s a giant a part of it, the expertise degree. And studying from Steve and the best way he’s set such a basis,” mentioned Clifford, who’s been an assistant with the Knicks, Rockets and Magic.
“Simply conversations with Steve, I had some communication with Sean, it’s a task that I’m extremely enthusiastic about, to have the ability to spend time with a gaggle like that beneath Steve’s management. You be taught a lot from the opposite coaches, however you additionally be taught a ton from the gamers. They usually have a roster that simply having the ability to watch from time-to-time — observe, shootarounds, no matter movie classes — it’ll be a state of affairs the place I can develop as a coach. So there’s quite a bit to be enthusiastic about.”