Spurs assistant James Borrego is finalizing a deal to become the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2018
We profiled Borrego in this round up of the Hornets potential head coaching candidates. From that article:
Borrego got his start in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs with whom he served as an assistant coach for nine seasons. He then spent two seasons with the New Orleans Hornets before being named Jacque Vaughn’s top assistant in Orlando. Borrego took over as interim head coach upon Vaughn’s firing and commandeered the team to a 10-20 record over their final 30 games, an improvement on the 15-37 record the team had when he took over. Upon the completion of that season, Borrego rejoined the Spurs coaching staff.
The Hornets, along with the rest of the league, have shown a keen interest in poaching someone off the Spurs coaching staff. It appears the Hornets have landed one of their top targets in that regard.
Update (1:28 p.m. EST): In an article on the hire, Adrian Wojnarowski provided a little more insight as to how Borrego became Mitch Kupchak’s choice:
Borrego made a strong impression in his interview with Mitch Kupchak, the Hornets’ new president of basketball operations and GM. Kupchak became more intrigued once he started to canvass NBA executives, coaches and players who have worked with Borrego, sources told ESPN.
It appears Borrego’s references came in handy! But in all seriousness, if executives, coaches, and players have nothing but good things to say about Borrego, then he’s doing something right.