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Following a Hornets season that began with plenty of buzz and ended with merely a whimper, Charlotte has decided to move on from head coach James Borrego.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report that after four seasons, Borrego will be terminated. In those four years, Borrego’s team showed improvement but failed to qualify for the postseason.
The lack of playoff appearances is the biggest reason why Charlotte’s moving on. With budding All-Star LaMelo Ball, up and comer Miles Bridges, and talented veteran Gordon Hayward on the roster, the Hornets have largely underachieved.
For instance, with a playoff spot up for grabs, Charlotte lost to Atlanta last week in the league’s play-in tournament. It marked the second consecutive year in which the Hornets dropped the play-in game, and it extended their post-season drought to six seasons.
Charlotte is dismissing coach James Borrego, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 22, 2022
Borrego’s dismissal comes despite the fact that he improved the Hornets’ season win total by 10 games in each of the last two seasons. Charlotte won just 23 games during the ’19-20 campaign, then improved that number to 33 wins in ’20-21 and found a way to piece together 43 victories this season.
In the end, the Hornets’ regular season improvements weren’t enough for owner Michael Jordan and GM Mitch Kupchak to keep Borrego around.
“I want to thank JB for his hard work and commitment during these past four seasons,” said Kupchak in a statement released by the team, confirming the news. “Beyond his work as a coach, he is a tremendous person. I wish him and his family the best in the future. These decisions are always difficult. Having said that, we have a talented, young core of players which has me very excited about the future of the Hornets. We will begin the search for our new head coach immediately.”
Regardless of whom Jordan and Kupchak hire as Charlotte’s next head coach, that guy will walk into a situation ripe with talent. In addition to Ball, Bridges and Hayward, the Hornets have skillful pieces such as Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington. Additionally, the Hornets have an opportunity to add a little more sting, via a first-round pick in the June draft that may be within the lottery.
Borrego finishes his Charlotte tenure with an overall record of 138-163.
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