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Hornets fire coach James Borrego

Hornets coach James Borrego

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 05: Head coach James Borrego of the Charlotte Hornets reacts against the Miami Heat during the second half at FTX Arena on April 05, 2022 in Miami, Florida. 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. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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James Borrego signed a contract extension before the season then guided the Hornets to their best record in six years (43-39).

But Charlotte also got rocked in the 9-10 play-in game, looking particularly pathetic defensively, for the second straight year.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Borrego empowered LaMelo Ball and gave players like Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier room to expand their games.

But Charlotte’s defense was such a wreck. There were signs of chemistry discord, too.

The Hornets were somewhat impatient to fire Borrego despite the team’s upward trajectory. However, he didn’t do enough to guarantee job security. Charlotte’s next coach will take over a team with a solid amount of young talent (Ball, Bridges, P.J. Washington) and could cultivate it better than Borrego would’ve.

Who will be the Hornets’ next coach? Their last three (Borrego, Steve Clifford, Mike Dunlap) were first-time NBA head coaches.

For that matter, who will hire Borrego’s replacement? Maybe not Mitch Kupchak.