Charlotte Hornets fire coach James Borrego after 4 seasons

Apr 21, 2022, 9:38 PM | Updated: Apr 22, 2022, 10:13 am
Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego calls a play during the first half of an NBA basketball ...

Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego calls a play during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards on Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

(AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets have fired coach James Borrego after blowout losses in back-to-back seasons in the play-in tournament.

Hornets president of basketball operations and general manager Mitch Kupchak made the announcement on Friday.

“I want to thank JB for his hard work and commitment during these past four seasons,” Kupchak said in a release by the team. “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.”

Kupchak said the team will begin its search for a new head coach immediately.

The 44-year-old Borrego was 138-163 in four seasons with the Hornets and had received a multi-year contract extension last August. Charlotte finished 43-39 this season, but was embarrassed in the play-in game for the second straight year.

The Hornets have not make the playoffs since the 2015-16 season and have not won a playoff series since the 2001-02 season.

Charlotte has improved its win total by 10 in each of the past two seasons under Borrego and the coach expressed his optimism about the team moving forward after exit interviews.

In previous seasons, Charlotte’s 43 wins might have gotten the team into the playoffs as an eight seed or higher, but because the East was so competitive the Hornets finished 10th. The Hornets lost 132-103 at Atlanta in the play-in game, one year after losing to Indiana by 27 points as the 10 seed.

Whoever gets the job can build around a roster that includes All-Star LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, as well as Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward.

“We have a talented, young core of players which has me very excited about the future of the Hornets,” Kuphcak said.

Charlotte posted its highest offensive rating in franchise history and finished eighth overall in the NBA, but the defense continued to lag behind. Charlotte ranked 22nd in defense among the league’s 30 teams. and the Hornets struggled to defend Trae Young and the Hawks in the play-in game.

Several Hornets players had said prior to the season if the team didn’t make the playoffs it would be considered a disappointment.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) dunks over Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul during the first h...
Associated Press

Murray scores 21 points, Hawks roll past Suns 132-100

PHOENIX (AP) — Trae Young rose up for a 3-pointer in the second half that left his hands way too hard, hurtling toward the basket before slamming off the backboard and through the hoop. Atlanta’s star guard shrugged and ran back down the court with a sheepish grin. Things were going the Hawks way Wednesday […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, left, guards Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, right, during ...
Associated Press

Markkanen, Conley power Jazz to 131-128 win over Raptors

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 28 points and 13 rebounds and Mike Conley added a three-point play and two clutch free throws in the closing minutes to lift the Utah Jazz to a 131-128 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. “Taking my time, having a little more patience, not just […]
1 day ago
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) looks to pass while defended by Minnesota Timberwolv...
Associated Press

Russell, Edwards help Timberwolves beat Warriors in OT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — D’Angelo Russell scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Anthony Edwards took over in overtime after Russell fouled out and the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Golden State Warriors 119-114 on Wednesday night. Russell fouled out after two quick whistles in the first minute of overtime. That set the stage […]
1 day ago
Boston Bruins' Pavel Zacha (not shown) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35)...
Associated Press

Pavel Zacha scores twice as Bruins beat Maple Leafs 5-2

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs feel like they can keep up with the NHL-leading Boston Bruins. They just need to do it for three consecutive periods. Pavel Zacha scored twice in the third as Boston surged past the Maple Leafs 5-2 on Wednesday. After a scoreless first period, Toronto trailed 2-1 at the […]
1 day ago
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots as Houston Rockets center Alperen Se...
Associated Press

Gordon, rookie Eason help Rockets defeat Thunder 112-106

HOUSTON (AP) — Eric Gordon had a season-high 25 points and rookie Tari Eason added career-high 20 to lead the Houston Rockets to a 112-106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. The Rockets (13-38), who have the worst record in the Western Conference, have won three of their last five games after […]
1 day ago
Florida guard Will Richard celebrates with fans after the second half of an NCAA college basketball...
Associated Press

Florida upends No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 behind Colin Castleton

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Colin Castleton is accustomed to being double-teamed every time he touches the ball, so he was pleasantly surprised — maybe even downright stunned — when Tennessee opted to guard him with a single defender in the second half. “I’ve got to take advantage of that,” Castleton said. He did. Castleton scored […]
1 day ago
Charlotte Hornets fire coach James Borrego after 4 seasons