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Hornets Coach Steve Clifford Benches Lance Stephenson, Says ‘He’s Not A Star’

The new-look Hornets are off to a rough start, they are sitting at 4-12 on the season and are on a seven-game losing streak, with the addition of Lance Stephenson, the Hornets were expected to be a much improved team that could get past the first round in the Eastern Conference playoffs, however they aren’t looking like a playoff team at all right now.

Of course it’s very early in the season and they can get it together and still make a run to secure a good seed in the East, but players and coaches are beginning to lose patience.

On Wednesday night following a 105-97 loss to the Trail Blazers in which free agent acquisition Lance Stephenson did not play in the fourth quarter, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford expressed his frustrations about Stephenson basically saying that he was over hyped and is far from being a star in the league. Stephenson also challenged Clifford to figure out how to get this Hornets team to win games.

Via Charlotte Observer:

Asked about not playing these past two fourth quarters, Stephenson replied, “Hey it’s the coach’s decision. If he doesn’t play me in the fourth I’m just going to continue to work hard and do what it takes to win. Other than that I think I’m good. We just need to work harder.

“Hopefully coach figures out what we need to do to win games.”

“To be fair, and I’ve said this to him, one of the things that’s made it more difficult for him is he came here and people proclaimed him this next superstar,” Clifford said.

“He’s a talented kid. He’s 23 years old. He started two years and averaged 13 points a game. When Al Jefferson came here he’d averaged 19 and 10 for eight years. You knew what you were going to get. That’s what Lance needs to become. So in many ways it’s not fair.

“He’s not a star; he’s a guy who has the talent to be a star. To be a star in this league you’ve got to do this over years.”

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