Adrian Wojnarowski, the most dominant force in NBA reporting, brings you inside the league with The Woj Pod. Woj is probing the biggest newsmakers in the sport – from the commissioner, to general managers, coaches and star players – to bring listeners inside the processes, personas and stories that impact the NBA. Beyond longer sit-down interviews in our New York studios, Woj will deliver real-time podcasts with league personnel built around breaking news.
Steve Clifford joins The Woj Pod to discuss his dismissal as the Charlotte Hornets coach, Kemba Walker, earning players’ respect in the NBA, the loss of practice time in the NBA, coaching Yao Ming.
0:39: Clifford’s days recruiting players in the northeast as a college coach.
3:19: His exit from the Hornets after five seasons and a change in the front office.
4:57: The Hornets lacking consistency this season and a mentality of wanting to improve.
8:15: The changing role of big men like Dwight Howard in the modern NBA.
10:45: Kemba Walker being fully invested in Clifford’s vision for the team.
16:30: The traits of successful players that are harder to find today than in previous generations.
20:28: How Clifford built relationships with his players when they have many people in their ears.
24:45: The evolution of how head coaches lead and interact with their players.
26:13: The successful coaches that Clifford worked with as an assistant during his career.
30:58: What are the hardest decisions that head coaches have to make in the NBA today?
32:55: Clifford showing his players what he wants from them instead of merely yelling at them.
35:12: Balancing the need for rest with the need to practice and how players view practice.
41:45: How great Yao Ming could have been if he stayed healthy.
43:29: Yao’s sense of duty and obligation to represent China in international competition, particularly the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
45:34: Yao’s global impact on the game.