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Hornets coach Steve Clifford takes leave of absence to address health

Hornets coach Steve Clifford takes leave of absence to address health

Hornets head coach Steve Clifford is taking a leave of absence "to address his health", the team announced Wednesday. He missed Monday night's game against the Magic because of illness, with Silas telling reporters that Clifford fell ill around 9 a.m. the day of the game.

Out of respect for Clifford's privacy, the Hornets are withholding details about his situation and will not make any further comments at the current time. Associate head coach Stephen Silas will take over head coaching duties in his absence. The previous season, the Hornets went just 21-61 under the direction of Mike Dunlap, who lasted just one year with the team. Charlotte's next game is against the Golden State Warriors, and a road trip featuring the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets follows two other home games.

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The grind of coaching during a season can be hazardous to someone's health, with early mornings, practices to plan and run, travel, late nights and potentially poor eating habits combining to invite issues. Currently, there is no timetable for his return.