San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego has reached an agreement with the Charlotte Hornets to become their next head coach, the team announced on Thursday.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was first to report the deal. The contract is a four-year deal, according to Wojnarowski
Here’s more from Wojnarowski on Borrego and the deal:
Borrego has already begun working to build his coaching staff, after beginning work on finalizing the contract Tuesday, league sources said.
He met with Hornets owner Michael Jordan over the weekend, after advancing to the final group of interviews along with Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga.
The Hornets were sold on Borrego’s strong credentials as one of Gregg Popovich’s long-time assistants, including his abilities in player development, game planning on both the offensive and defensive ends, and his ability to build relationships with players.
Borrego is one of the most well-regarded assistants in the league; his coaching career has included two different tours on Gregg Popovich’s staff. Borrego turned down the University of New Mexico in his home state last year, choosing to continue pursuit of an NBA head-coaching job.
Borrego made a strong impression in his interview with Mitch Kupchak, the Hornets’ new president of basketball operations and general manager. Kupchak became more intrigued once he started to canvass NBA executives, coaches and players who have worked with Borrego, sources told ESPN.
The Hornets parted ways with former coach Steve Clifford on April 13. Clifford coached five seasons in Charlotte, posting a record of 196-214. Charlotte finished the 2017-18 season with a 36-46 record.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan triggered the team’s rebuild when he hired Kupchak on April 10 to serve as general manager and president of basketball operations. Kupchak won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers when he served as GM from 2000 to 2017.