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Steve Clifford: Hero or menace?

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford was a hero to several young puppies on Tuesday morning when he rescued them from traffic. Should we be so quick to praise him, though?

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

At the Hive has learned that Hornets coach Steve Clifford saved the lives of several puppies from tragedy early Tuesday morning. As it turns out, the puppies escaped from Clifford's Charlotte home and curiously wandered into the busy intersection.

The puppies were playing in the street, unsupervised when Clifford noticed the dogs in the busy street and was able to scoop them up before an approaching vehicle reached them. The driver of the vehicle said, "Hey, man. I just drive-- that's what roads are for. I'm no dogsitter," when asked for comment.

Clifford is being hailed as a hero for saving the lives of several wayward puppies. While it is true he was able to save the puppies from certain doom, are we sure that Clifford is the hero in this case? If Clifford was so heroic, why didn't he keep the puppies out of the street in the first place? How could someone capable of rescuing puppies from the street be so incapable of preventing this situation in the first place?

Was what Clifford did great? Sure, but that's his job; and in the day and age of participation trophies, it's unsurprising to see society rewarding someone for doing what they were supposed to be doing in the first place.

Among those that didn't escape was Noah, who just turned one year old last week. Clifford never let Noah out enough and should have since he could have been the one that kept his brothers out of the street.

Of those injured was a young pup named Cody. Cody also turned two last week and seemed to be a very bright dog. Unfortunately, Cody came away with a shoulder injury that will undoubtedly set the pack back.

What did Clifford have to say for himself?

"I feel pretty good about the end result," said Clifford. "But I feel like it was my responsibility that they got into the street in the first place."

"We brought in some pups over the summer that we thought would keep them on the right track, but they seemed to only lead them further off the right path."

Puppies are curious by nature, but clearly this is an indictment of Clifford's competence. Anyone else would totally have put Noah in charge, whether he was ready or not.

It seems that Clifford has no idea what he is doing. Just last year we thought that Clifford was the perfect person to raise these pups into champion show dogs, and now he seems unfit to be around puppies. Clifford's manufactured remorse only adds insult to injury and doesn't change this simple fact: Clifford may have saved them from the car, but Clifford was the reason they were in the street in the first place.