Hornets tab Spurs assistant James Borrego as next head coach

New Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak tabbed his first major hire on Thursday afternoon, naming San Antonio Spurs assistant James Borrego as the franchise’s next head coach.

“We are thrilled to have James join our franchise,” Kupchak said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience and a strong track record of player development from his time as a coach in San Antonio, New Orleans and Orlando. He has been a part of teams that have ascended to the highest levels of success in our league and understands what it takes to win in the NBA.

“James is considered one of the NBA’s most well-regarded assistant coaches and it’s great to have him as part of our team. I look forward to working with him in the years to come.”

After starting his coaching career at his alma mater San Diego, Borrego has served as an NBA assistant in San Antonio, New Orleans and Orlando, including a stint as interim head coach with the Magic. Borrego was a staff member during the Spurs’ 2005 and 2007 championship runs.

Borrego, 40, becomes one of the NBA’s youngest head coaches. He becomes the latest branch on the evergreen Gregg Popovich coaching tree

“I want to thank Michael Jordan, Mitch Kupchak and Buzz Peterson for this opportunity,” Borrego said in a statement. “I’m confident in the coaching foundation I’ve had the opportunity to develop during my time in San Antonio, Orlando and New Orleans, and I cannot wait to get to work in Charlotte.”.