San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: James Borrego to be next Hornets head coach

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 19: Assistant Coach James Borrego of the San Antonio Spurs during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 19: Assistant Coach James Borrego of the San Antonio Spurs during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Charlotte Hornets have reportedly hired James Borrego away from the San Antonio Spurs to become their next head coach, according to a report from ESPN.

After the Charlotte Hornets spoke with multiple San Antonio Spurs assistant coaches for their head coaching vacancy, it seems one of them was chosen. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets will hire James Borrego to fill the position. The Hornets fired Steve Clifford after the 2017-18 season, which opened this opportunity for Borrego. Ime Udoka and Ettore Messina also interviewed for the job.

Borrego “strong impression” in an interview with Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak, who gave a closer look at hiring him away from the Spurs and finalizing a deal. This included speaking with other executives, coaches and players around the NBA.

Borrego had two stints with San Antonio. He was an assistant from 2003-10 and 2015-2018, taking jobs with New Orleans and Orlando in between, including a stint as the interim coach with the latter.

As Charlotte’s roster stands, Borrego will work with Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Dwight Howard and 2017 first-round pick Malik Monk, who struggled in his rookie season. They also own the No. 11 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Will this be the only Spurs assistant to leave for another job? Messina and Udoka were lined up for other interviews along with Becky Hammon, the first female to interview for an NBA head coach job.

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With the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons jobs all open, it’s possible someone from this group leaves. If so, leaves another spot for Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to fill on his staff, with no one reported as a candidate yet for Borrego’s role. Otherwise, it’s possible everyone just moves up on the bench and the organization works from there.

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