CHARLOTTE- The 2016-17 season is over earlier than expected for the Hornets.
One game away from winning a playoff series last season, the Hornets missed the postseason entirely this season.
At the end-of-season press conference Coach Steve Clifford wasn’t interested in making excuses, instead borrowing a quote from NFL coaching legend Bill Parcells.
“You are what your record says you are,” Clifford said.
This season, the Hornets were 36-46, a full 12 games worse than last season.
“You have to establish a way to play that will give yourself a chance to win every night and get better. Above anybody else, that’s my responsibility.”
This season wasn’t all bad. Kemba Walker has emerged as a legitimate NBA All-Star and a franchise cornerstone.
“He’s so exciting to watch,” Hornets forward Marvin Williams said. “He’s so fun to play with. He’s such a great teammate, a great guy, but he is fun to watch. He’s so small. Some of the things he can do are pretty incredible.”
Right now it’s hard for Walker to reflect too much on his personal achievements, because of the lack of team success.
“Very disappointed with how we didn’t make the playoffs, obviously,” Walker said.
“This is a great basketball city,” Clifford said. “Our fans deserve better, and they [the players] know that.”
Most of the players have plans to spend their summers in Charlotte. Nic Batum decided against playing for France at EuroBasket. He wants to commit himself to the Hornets, and spend the summer with family.
It’s a franchise-friendly decision for one of its most important pieces.