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November 10, 2013

Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford, center Al Jefferson back at practice Sunday; Jefferson might play Monday

    The Charlotte Bobcats will get back their head coach for Monday’s home game against the Atlanta Hawks and hopefully their injured center, too.

            Coach Steve Clifford was at practice Sunday at Time Warner Cable Arena, two days after two stents were inserted into his heart to guard against blockages. Clifford felt chest pain Thursday night and was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital.

            Meanwhile center Al Jefferson, who played in the season-opener against the Houston Rockets, then missed the next five games, returned to practice for the first time since re-injuring his right ankle.

            Clifford said he’s “hopeful” Jefferson can play against the Hawks, but that won’t be determined until they see how his ankle responds Monday to a full practice.

    “Now it’s all up to coach,” Jefferson said on whether he’ll play. “I think I proved I can go, but it’s not about one game and relapsing. I think I’m in a better position that I was.’’

            Clifford is in a dramatically better position than he was Thursday night, when the chest pains started. A first-time NBA head coach, Clifford said there is a history of coronary disease in his family.

            The chest pains were a blessing.

    “I was lucky. It was a warning sign and I’ve since been educated that a lot of people who have strokes or heart attacks don’t get warning signs,” Clifford said. “Also fortunate I had great doctors. They have a good plan for me, and I’m going to follow it and get better quickly.”

    Clifford will have shorter workdays, at least for the next week. He can coach games and travel, but doctors want him resting most of the time in-between.

    “I was fortunate in that, by other standards, what happened to me was mild,” Clifford said. “What I’ve been told is a few months from now, if it had continued (untreated), it could have been a lot worse. I haven’t had any pain since the initial (episode).”

            Jefferson sprained his right ankle in the second preseason game against the Miami Heat. He played in the season-opener, then was stiff and sore enough that he couldn’t play the second regular-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over a week later, he said it’s now primarily a bone bruise along his ankle that is the issue.

            Jefferson played one-on-one games the three days leading up to Sunday’s practice to test the injury. He said he felt out of game shape,but has done enough workouts on a stationary bike that he should recover full game shape in about a week.

            A key free-agent acquisition – he signed a three-year, $41 million contract in July --  Jefferson is wary of another setback.

    “I don’t want to play one game, then sit out another two weeks,” Jefferson said. “When I come back, I want to come back to stay.”

            For Clifford, Jefferson’s availability becomes a wait-and-see thing now.

    “We did a lot of contact (Sunday) and he was able to do the majority of it. So I would be hopeful he can play to some extent” versus the Hawks, Clifford said.

    “It’s just a matter of the way he feels in the morning and how he is after shootaround.”

Posted by Observer Sports on November 10, 2013 at 02:02 PM | Permalink


how soon can free agents signed over the summer be traded this year?

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 10, 2013 2:35:10 PM

Why was Ewing given the reins? Bob Weiss was a head coach in the NBA for 7 years. Heck, even L.E. Silas has a number of games of head coaching experience to draw on.

Why Ewing? Throwing him a bone at the expense of what's best for the team?

Please explain to me how this isn't another bad decision by Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 10:52:05 AM

^^^^^Seriously. How dumb is this guy? No clue why Ewing was fillijg in for Clifford. He will say anything to attempt to discredit the Bobcats. No matter how ignorant he looks. Sucks getting fired, but might want to move on at some point. The life of a troll is about as bad as it gets.

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 4:00:02 PM

Excuse me Mr. Bobnet. Are you trolling a troll? How dare you.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 10, 2013 4:42:53 PM

First, good to hear Coach Clifford is feeling better and let's hope Big Al doesn't have anymore setbacks with that ankle.

Steve can you believe this guy? He's so consumed by the situation that he's now cutting and pasting my posts from other columns, wow. Clearly he needs an adjustment to some stronger med's...

On that topic, was Mr. Ewing the most qualified person on the staff to take the lead role in Coach Clifford's absence?

Or did Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho throw him a bone at the expense of the players and fans?

Knicks got embarrassed by the Spurs today...Woodson's leash is now so short it's almost non-existent.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 5:00:15 PM

Steve. Can you believe this NASTAR guy? Too ignorant to understand what Associate head coach means. Guess I can add that to the wrong list. Not sure how long you worked there, but if you were piling up these kind of mistakes it could not have been long....truly embarassing. Even for an anonymous Internet troll.

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 5:32:06 PM

Slurpers castigated me for suggesting Woodson may already be on the hotseat, just getting hotter...

"Mike Woodson’s horrible afternoon concluded with a meeting with James Dolan...

The speculation over Woodson’s job security is quickly becoming a central theme...

Coaches and general managers are like Knicks City Dancers to Dolan; expendable."



Multiple losses to the Boob's will get a coach fired. Pay attention slurp's, bringing you future news today, and for free.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 6:02:47 PM

NASTAR Scorecard

1. Why is Ewing coaching
2. Thomas won't be amnestied.
3. Kemba will be in the Italian league.
4. Bobcats are losing money.
5. Team won't change their name.

All wrong.

1. Woodson will get fired by the Knicks.

Still waiting on that one. Ironic thing is if he finally gets one right it will be about a different team. Lets hope it finally works out for him. Nice little confidence booster after the termination.

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 6:18:05 PM

dude you said woodson was going to get fired because of a PRESEASON loss to the bobcats.

not because tyson chandler would break his leg and they would start 2-4 with j.r. smith suspended for the first 5.

completely different contexts. of course a coach can get fired for a slow start. can a coach get fired over a preseason loss? hasn't happened yet.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 10, 2013 7:16:13 PM

NASTAR has been just as wrong about the Panthers. He is an equal opportunity troll.

Posted by: Panther Fan | Nov 10, 2013 7:28:54 PM

An associate head coach has never been passed over for an assistant either. That didn't stop NASTAR from making that moronic comment about Ewing either.

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 7:43:46 PM

charlottean, I said no such thing. Woodson put his starters in at the end of the preseason game and they did not respond, at all -- preseason or otherwise a very dismal and concerning result, especially given the opponent. Last year only Knicks and Heat won more than 50 in regular season and then Knicks fell flat against the Pacers, so Woodson was already on a short leash coming into the season.

The Chandler situation was irrelevant to the first 5 games they played and as for JR Smith, hey, people gotta step up (and JR really ain't all that).

The real issue, which was crystal clear to me before the Knots tipped off on Oct-30, was that Woodson is unable to motivate this team -- as such I pointed out that Woodson was on very thin ice after the PS loss to the Boob's and it wouldn't take much to put him in serious jeopardy...

...and I was spot on, while you were dead wrong. HA!

(NOTE: I never said "Woodson is gonna be fired for sure", I never said "Woodson is gonna be fired by XYZ date", I simply surmised that he was real close to being in serious hot water, and I was 100% correct)

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 8:19:36 PM

^^^congratultions. You might be 1 for 1000. Making you feel better about the firing yet? Fired by the Bobcats of all places. Had to be Pre Jordan when the team was at its worst. Appears the embarrassment must still lingers. Ouch. Still trying to figure out why Ewing was coaching?

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 8:26:33 PM

Rick Bonnell article says:

"...said Jordan, who has lost millions from owning the Bobcats the past three years."


Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 8:28:58 PM

dude you said it after an exhibition game that held no water for anything.

they were 1-2 prior to chandler getting hurt. 1-2 since.

JR smith doesn't matter now? the guy averaged 18 a game last year. if he doesn't matter, explain to me why his brother was part of his compensation package.

please say something factual just once. it's cool if you want to come on here and be critical.....hell i'm super critical. but say something factual.

you said the guy was soon to be getting fired based on a pre season game. had they come out and won the first 6 and chandler not gotten hurt, we wouldn't be bringing it back up. any playoff team that starts slow, the coach is immediately on the hot seat. real sherlock you are.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 10, 2013 8:35:17 PM

Looks like since you were fired the NBA got alot healthier. Not surprising, whether you are working now has to be losing money. Second thought. Probably not employable.

"No, the new CBA didn't help them exchange their nickname in favor of the one discarded by New Orleans, but it did help in other ways. The team was projected to lose about $14 million this season without revenue sharing, but with the contributions from big-market teams and various revenue-related adjustments, the team is projected to have a basketball profit of around $6 million"

Jordan turned his team profitable and helped make the NBA stronger. Amazing.

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 8:45:31 PM

"you said the guy was soon to be getting fired based on a pre season game."

That's a lie, I did not say that.

Key phrase: "...the team is projected..."

Hasn't happened...might happen, might not.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 9:04:48 PM

From Forbes:

30. Charlotte Bobcats

5-year Average Profit: -$16 million

The Bobcats diminished player spending by $18 million and cut their operating losses in half last season, but the team still came out $13 million in the red. The team's average home game attendance has ranked among the ten lowest every year since the team's founding in 2004.



Yes, 30 out of 30....DFL. $80,000,000 of losses in 5 years, and that's just operating. Doesn't account for monster hit BobJob & partners took at sale time.

Shorty and Gerald look kinda bummed there huh? Can you imagine, coming from those winning college programs to this?!?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 10, 2013 9:10:48 PM

"No, the new CBA didn't help them exchange their nickname in favor of the one discarded by New Orleans, but it did help in other ways. The team was projected to lose about $14 million this season without revenue sharing, but with the contributions from big-market teams and various revenue-related adjustments, the team is projected to have a basketball profit of around $6 million"

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 9:14:54 PM

Most people prefer updated information. Man. Turning this team profitable was incredible work by Jordan, does not get the credit he deserves. Guy is a miracle worker.

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 9:19:05 PM

Anyone know why Ewing was the head coach for the last game?

Posted by: Bobnet | Nov 10, 2013 9:20:18 PM

enlighten me as to what you said, because the timing was absolutely directly following that game and the context was that he was in trouble BECAUSE of that game.

so please.....explain to me how that differs

you hate facts.

did you even read the forbes article? it was written in january. the numbers referred to the 2011-12 season. we're in the 2013-14 season. 11-12 was year 1 of the new CBA. you might want to get your updated numbers. that 5 year average was starting in 07-08. they were just leaking money back then. compare that to last year's numbers and i'm sure you will find some sort of way to tell us all that the statistical trend TOWARDS profitability has absolutely nothing to do with jordan's purchase and restructuring of the business upper management. no correlation at all, right?

you probably shouldn't be so invested in someone else's failures. i mean i think fantasy leagues are sad, but this? this is bad.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 11, 2013 12:02:23 AM

Personally I have been very impressed by a number of things Jordan has done since he took over. Community involvement, the Hornets, what looks like financial improvements. Even many of the basketball moves have made sense. The only thing I really take issue with is the draft the last few years, but I am sure I could say that for many teams.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 11, 2013 9:07:22 AM

They've drafted very well the last 3 drafts. I wanted barnes over MKG and leonard over walker at the time of the draft, but those picks are basically a wash when you look at them long term.

the talent we have in biz, zeller, and MKG at 21 and under is remarkable and that's how you build contenders. there isn't a pick in the last 3 years that isn't extension worthy.

biggest improvement I've seen is to the arena itself and to the ticket sales department. Far more professional staff, better amenities, and at more quality prices.

jordan may be an a** in person, but at least he isn't a complete a** in interviews the way johnson was. and he doesn't have the penchant for race based agendas either. and he isn't tempted to move the team either. that's the biggest factor of all. there weren't a lot of charlotteans lining up with half a bill to blow. anybody else would have been tempted by vegas, seattle, st. louis, whatever.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 11, 2013 9:54:26 AM

Big Al starting tonight!

Posted by: apauldds | Nov 11, 2013 11:40:13 AM

I explained it to you up above, in detail, jack***.

This team has been a consistent money loser for years and years and years, including last year. Is it possible that they make money this year? It is. If they do it will be strictly because of the new CBA, not because of any any magical management prowess by Air Minimum -- he is clueless.

What a joke this is: "biggest improvement I've seen is to the arena itself and to the ticket sales department. Far more professional staff, better amenities, and at more quality prices."

You'd make a good Met's fan with a fancy new stadium and lots of cool places to eat, and a team that does nothing but lose. Give me Fenway or the old Yankee stadium, beat up, lousy food, old bathrooms -- and teams that win.

Amenities don't translate to wins...

...you seem comfortable with amenities and false promises -- me, I want wins.

Air Min will never deliver on his promise to build a team that consistently advances well into the playoffs, period.

One more thing slurpers, with the Boob's, profitability and a winning legacy are going to be mutually exclusive -- ponder that for a while knotheads.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Nov 11, 2013 11:53:37 AM

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