After blowout losses in consecutive seasons of the play-in tournament, the Charlotte Hornets fired coach James Borrego.
Mitch Kupchak, general manager and president of basketball operations for the Hornets, made the announcement Friday.
Kupchak stated in a team release that he wanted to thank JB “for his hard work” during the past four seasons. He is an exceptional person, and his coaching skills are invaluable. I wish him and his family all the best for the future. These are difficult decisions.”
Kupchak stated that the team will immediately begin searching for a new head coach.
Borrego, 44, was 138-163 in four seasons playing for the Hornets. He had been granted a multi-year contract extension in August. Charlotte finished the season with a record of 43-39, but was embarrassed in this year’s play-in.
Since the 2015-16 season, the Hornets have failed to make the playoffs and have not won any playoff series since 2001-02.
Borrego’s two seasons in Charlotte have seen Charlotte improve its win total by 10. The coach expressed optimism about Charlotte’s future after interviewing the exit candidates.
Although Charlotte’s 43 wins could have earned them an eighth seed or better, the East was so strong that the Hornets placed 10th. In the play-in match, the Hornets lost at Atlanta 132 to 103. This was one year after Indiana defeated them by 27 points.
The job is open to anyone who wants it. It can include All-Star LaMelo ball and Miles Bridges as well as Terry Rozier or Gordon Hayward.
Kuphcak stated, “We have a young, talented core of players which makes me excited about the future for the Hornets.”
Charlotte had the highest offensive rating in franchise history, and was eighth in the NBA. However, defense continues to fall behind. Charlotte was 22nd among all 30 league teams in defense. The Hornets were unable to defend Trae Young or the Hawks in play-in.
Many Hornets players stated that if the team did not make the playoffs, it would be considered disappointing.