The postseason exit of the Charlotte Hornets clearly didn’t sit well with its majority owner, Michael Jordan. The Naismith Hall of Famer is reported to have fired Hornets coach James Borrego on Friday after a meeting with the front office earlier this week.
Shams Charania, The Athletic’s senior NBA insider, broke the news on The Rally. He reported that the decision was made by the six-time NBA champion.
“The ultimate decision maker in Charlotte that got James Berrego fired, I’m told Michael Jordan, their owner,” Charania said. “And the front office had meetings with Michael Jordan this week, and it was determined they were going to move on, get off James Borrego. And now they will have a coaching search.”
The Hornets’ blowout defeat in the play-in tournament was a nail in the coffin for Borrego, whose team’s defense has been questioned more often than not. Despite being strong on offense, the Hornets have fallen short defensively.
James Borrego parts with the Charlotte Hornets after four seasons on account of Michael Jordan
After four seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, James Borrego was fired on Friday. The Hornets finished 43-39, 10th in the Eastern Conference, and lost the Nine-Ten Game 132-102 to the Atlanta Hawks on April 13. The ultimate decision on Borrego was alleged to have been made by owner Michael Jordan.
Borrego was first recruited to the coaching job for the Hornets in the 2018-19 season from his assistant coach role at the San Antonio Spurs. He took over from Steve Clifford, who had managed the Hornets for five seasons and led them to the playoffs twice in that time.
During his tenure, the team had become strong on offense, ranking fourth in the league in scoring (115.3 points per game). The Hornets were close behind the Milwaukee Bucks (115.5), Memphis Grizzlies (115.6) and Minnesota Timberwolves (115.9).
Borrego went 301-138 in four seasons. Charlotte had improved in each of the last three seasons: going 23-42 in 2019-20, 33-39 in 2020-21 and 43-39 this season. However, the franchise has missed the playoffs for six straight seasons.
Charlotte hasn’t won a playoff series since 2002, the season before the franchise moved to New Orleans.