San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego reportedly interviewed with the Phoenix Suns, according to a report from ESPN.
Under head coach Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs have seen assistant coaches hired away by other NBA franchises. Attribute that to the organization’s winning consistency, claiming five championships from 1999-2014. They also only failed to win 50 games in a season for the first time since 1996-97.
It’s possible the Spurs see more assistants join the NBA’s head coach circle, including James Borrego.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Borrego interviewed for the Phoenix Suns’ head coach opening Thursday. Former Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford followed with a meeting Friday.
The Suns coaching search is gathering momentum again: Spurs assistant James Borrego interviewed in Phoenix on Thursday, and former Charlotte coach Steve Clifford met with franchise officials there today, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 27, 2018
Borrego was not the first Spurs assistant to interview for another job. Ime Udoka and Ettore Messina both met with the Hornets for their head coach opening, so it’s possible at least two members of Popovich’s staff departs.
If multiple assistants leave, it leaves the 69-year-old coaching champion with spots to fill and unfamiliar faces around him. With Olympic duties on the way, too, will this be too much for Popovich and result in him taking an official step back? That’s all speculation, but if the Spurs undergo roster changes this summer, could that add fuel to the fire?
Borrego coached under Popovich from 2003-10, before moving onto the New Orleans Pelicans (then the Hornets) and the Orlando Magic. That included an interim head coach stint with the latter — accumulating a 10-20 record — before returning to San Antonio for the 2015-16 season. Will he get his first full-time gig with an organization?