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Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020)

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Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#1 » by Knightro » Sat Jun 6, 2020 9:58 pm

Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford was a guest on Open Mike on Friday. Here's the transcript of that interview. Link to the interview is at the bottom of the post.

Bianchi: Coach Clifford, thank you for joining us. What do you think about the approved NBA format?

Clifford: Thanks for having me. I know how much planning and thought and discussion that went into coming up with what was the best thing for the league. I don't think there was any way the commissioner and his group were going to come up with a solution during this trying times where every team was going to be happy. They had committees. Committees of owners, committees of team presidents, committees of general managers. He had a lot of discourse with the Players Association. He met with us as coaches. I think the study was detailed and thorough. Listen, to me, in terms of our team we were going to be a playoff team. We were playing our best, 5.5 games up with 17 to play. We also had the second easiest schedule remaining so we were in good shape. So with that being said, it's the same thing. We're in it. We have a chance to get to 7th or a chance to stay ahead of Washington to where there is no play in. Basically we control our fate. I think the commissioner did a great job and our guys are anxious to get started.

Bianchi: The goal for you guys is to get to the 7 spot. You're half game behind Brooklyn. That was the goal anyway, right?

Clifford: Yeah. We are 0.5 behind them. If we were to play the remainder of our schedule, we'd have played them twice more. We're 2-0 against them on the year. I don't know what their schedule was like, to be honest with you. But if you to 7th you're looking at playing Toronto or Boston who are two terrific teams. Both in the top 5, I think I'm right, in overall record. But Milwaukee is such a great, great team and they were playing at an incredibly high level. They are beyond a challenge, you know?

Bianchi: 22 teams are going to be in Orlando for an extended period of time. Do you think that could potentially help the Magic in terms of free agency in the future?

Clifford: I think so. Look, this is a great place to live. No state taxes. It all comes down to the same things. Opportunity to win big, I think that's always the first factor. Well the first factor is the money, but the great free agents are going to get the money. But it's opportunity to win big and then it's quality of life for them and their families. This is, to me, a terrific place to live. The weather is great. No state taxes. People can say it wasn't a high profile sign, but when Otis Smith signed Rashard Lewis who had been an all-star in Seattle to come here. It maybe wasn't a high high profile signing, but his signing and his willingness to play the 4 spot and the way Stan utilized him was one of the two or three key moves in the success we had here in 09 and during that stretch.

Pistulka: How is Jonathan Isaac progressing and is he going to play when the NBA resumes?

Clifford: He's doing well. It's too early to make a determination on that. He's made really good gains. He able to do some things on the floor now. He's still quite a ways away from being able to play. There's no way he'd be able to play today, but everything depends on how well he responds to his treatment. If he is able to get back on the floor when we start 5 on 5 practices in 4 weeks, then we'll see how he feels and see how his body responds.

Bianchi: Adam Silver said there's a chance that older NBA coaches won't be able to be on the bench when play resumes. You're 58. What do you think of that report?

Clifford: I think, and you guys know this, so much of this as to get to be middle aged like I am, is how you take care of yourself. Your immune system, how you eat, how much you work out, what your weight is. Health as you get older is more determined by how you take care of yourself than what your age is.

Bianchi: You've taken care of yourself pretty well haven't you?

Clifford: I have a clean bill of health. Dr. Hoffman I spoke with a few weeks ago. I just don't look good. I feel good though.

Bianchi: Stan Van Gundy has been appointed to an NBA coaching committee to study racial injustice in this country. What are your thoughts on what has been going on in this country?

Clifford: As you know Mike, Stan has impacted me in a lot of ways. We talk about the issues in our country a lot. Right now we have a racism issue which has been going on forever. We have a racial injustice issue. We have a police accountability issue. I do think besides being excited to get back on the floor with our team, the other thing that's going to happen is it's going to give all of us an opportunity to use our game and the platform it provides to help make a positive impact in making changes that need to take place in our country. I'm actually investigating different organizations in the Orlando area because I want to be involved in making positive change. Trying to find an organization to work with so we can play a part in all that. Our coaches association is committed to taking a bigger role in that change. We're all committed to it.

Bianchi: One of the tangible ways to evoke change is through voting. Is what something you could get involved in, lobbying local politicians?

Clifford: For sure. That's actually what I'm hopeful I will be able to do. Find a local cause that is working towards policy changes, law changes. I think if you study data and information, many of our issues are at the local level. The more we can get involved in those things. Obviously voter turnout is a big part of it. Studying the issues and getting involved with organizations that have the resources to make the changes necessary is a big part of this.

Bianchi: Why does the NBA, the players, management, Adam Silver, they all seem to get along a lot better than we see in other sports like MLB, NFL and MLS. What is it about the NBA that allows everyone to get along?

Clifford: Strong commissioner. If you look at the challenge of the leadership aspect of his job, it's overwhelming. Just being able to oversee and make decisions with the 30 owners. 30 incredibly successful business men with their own agendas. What Adam Silver has done during this time has been incredible. I don't think he's slept. His communication. They studied everything. The media side, the locations. If you just sit down and look at the challenges of trying to organize this, it's taken a lot of highly intelligent people making difficult decisions. The only way to do that and have a uniform buy in behind you is by leadership. He's always prepared, super intelligent, but he has great knowledge of everything he speaks about. He uses experts. He gets us all information and data that back up his decisions. To put it simply, its leadership and he's gotten the buy in from all aspects of our league that was necessary.


https://969thegame.iheart.com/content/2020-06-05-podcast-steve-clifford-is-ready-for-nbas-return/
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Re: Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#2 » by Knightro » Sat Jun 6, 2020 10:15 pm

Based on how Clifford spoke when asked about Isaac, I would put the odds of him playing when things restart at a shade above 0%.
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Re: Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#3 » by zaymon » Sun Jun 7, 2020 8:40 am

Knightro wrote:Based on how Clifford spoke when asked about Isaac, I would put the odds of him playing when things restart at a shade above 0%.

One is his health and second is the situation with Gordon. I think there is no rush to get Isaac back becouse we cant showcase Gordon when he plays small forward and it hurts his value. The perfect scenario is have Isaac healthy and Gordon playing pf untill one of them is traded.
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Re: Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#4 » by basketballRob » Sun Jun 7, 2020 2:28 pm

It would be nice to see Aminu back so we don't see Birch at the 4 again.

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Re: Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#5 » by The Real Dalic » Sun Jun 7, 2020 7:01 pm

No idea why Isaac won't be back. It seems likely he won't. But not sure why he won't be out on the court unless the trainers misdiagnosed his injury or lied. Or if he suffered some setbacks. But he's been out since January and it was supposed to be 8-12 weeks before he was re-evaluated. That normally means the player comes back a short time after the re-evaluation.

I can see Aminu not being back as his injury was apparently more severe. We do need him back desperately as well. Just to get Birch off the floor, at least as a 4.
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Re: Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#6 » by RookieStar » Sun Jun 7, 2020 8:55 pm

So... Isaac and Aminu are both still injured even during the resume of play.

So... we get the Birch/Iwundu back-up PF still? Or are we taking advantage of that 2-way player replacement pool thingy they are discussing?
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Re: Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#7 » by zaymon » Mon Jun 8, 2020 8:52 am

RookieStar wrote:So... Isaac and Aminu are both still injured even during the resume of play.

So... we get the Birch/Iwundu back-up PF still? Or are we taking advantage of that 2-way player replacement pool thingy they are discussing?

Does MCW has brother ? ;)
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Re: Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#8 » by Knightro » Mon Jun 8, 2020 11:05 am

If I was Clifford and I felt obligated to play ten players...

Fultz/Fournier/Ennis/Gordon/Vucevic
Augustin/Ross/MCW/Iwundu/Bamba

Just don’t see the benefit of playing Birch with Bamba or with Vucevic. He’s a good backup/third string center. But he’s a bad PF under any circumstances.
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Re: Steve Clifford on 96.9 The Game's Open Mike (June 5, 2020) 

Post#9 » by zaymon » Mon Jun 8, 2020 1:50 pm

Knightro wrote:If I was Clifford and I felt obligated to play ten players...

Fultz/Fournier/Ennis/Gordon/Vucevic
Augustin/Ross/MCW/Iwundu/Bamba

Just don’t see the benefit of playing Birch with Bamba or with Vucevic. He’s a good backup/third string center. But he’s a bad PF under any circumstances.

I think we could be more versatile with our lineups depending if other team goes small or big. Without DJ it was a slaughter but with him i think we have enough firepower to play Birch, especially with the way MCW was driving to the rim at the end of season.
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