On Friday, Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak announced the dismissal of coach James Borrego.
Borrego, 44, was between 138 and 163 during his four seasons with Charlotte – the last three seasons have come while the Hornets have been rebuilding in the wake of the franchise icon Kimba WalkerHis departure to Boston in free agency in 2019.
Since the 2019-20 season, Borrego has overseen 10-win improvements for the Hornets on a year-over-year basis. Charlotte has gone from 23-42 in 2019-20 to 33-39 in 2020-21 to 43-39 this season.
Borrego has also overseen the player development successes of lamillo ballNBA Newcomer Player of the Year last season and All-Star this season; Miles Bridges, who is marching to secure a big contract this summer as a restricted free agent; And Graham Defontewho was ranked fifth in the 2019-20 NBA Most Improved Player vote.
Charlotte’s season ended last week in the championship, losing 132-103 to the Atlanta Hawks. This was the second year in a row that the Hornets lost their first game play as the 10th seed. Charlotte participated in two games of playing without her. Gordon Haywardwho was discharged due to injuries.
“I would like to thank GB for his hard work and commitment over the past four seasons,” Kopchak said in a statement. “In addition to his work as a coach, he is an amazing person. I wish him and his family the best for the future. These decisions are always difficult. Having said that, we have a group of talented and young players who have made me very excited about the Hornets’ future. We will start the search for our new coach right away.”
Borrego previously served as coach of the Orlando Magic for the last 30 games of the 2014-15 season, replacing Jack Vaughn after he was sent off mid-season. He also worked as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, and Magic.
The Hornets have missed the playoffs for six consecutive seasons and have only made them three times over the course of 18 seasons since their return to the NBA in 2004, failing to get out in the first round on every appearance.
“Student. Incurable problem solver. Amateur baconaholic. Introvert. Infuriatingly humble music fanatic.”