Reaction to first 3 candidates revealed in Bucks’ coaching search

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 25 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 25 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets: James Borrego
CHARLOTTE, NC – MARCH 05 (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

3 – James Borrego – former Charlotte Hornets Head Coach

The final name may be one that surprises Bucks fans, and that is the former head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, James Borrego. Borrego led the Hornets from 2018 until he was fired in April of last year. Yes, he was fired, but the Hornets have only made the playoffs in three seasons since the franchise moved to Charlotte as the Bobcats back in 2004. He only had one season with Kemba Walker on the team before he joined the Boston Celtics, and since then, the Hornets have been an outsider for making the postseason.

In his final season, he led the Hornets to a 43-39 record but ultimately finished in the 10th seed and the front office felt this was time to move on. His time with Charlotte saw him take a 23-win team to 43 wins in two years which is a very impressive achievement. In that final season, the Hornets led the league in assists and were sixth in offensive efficiency per The Athletic (Subscription required). The downside to this was the defensive struggles of his teams. With the Bucks roster, this would likely improve due to the defensive talent of the players, but the scheme would need to be altered to get the best team defense.

Prior to leading the Hornets, he served as an assistant in San Antonio under the gaze of legendary coach Gregg Popovich. This past year he has taken time out to learn and improve away from the game of basketball, and that can be seen as a positive or hindrance to his candidacy.

Of the three already named, Borrego is certainly the most surprising candidate, but there are many positives he showed during his time with the Hornets that can be of benefit to any team. His players-first approach helps hold people accountable but also allows the players to have a voice on what needs changing both on and off the coach. I think he is an interesting candidate for the role,  but with more to be named and interviewed, he may fall by the wayside due to the experience and resume of other coaches available. The idea of him being integrated back into the league as an assistant coach may be one that the Bucks consider.

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Stay tuned to find out who else will be interviewed by the Bucks and whether one of these initial three is given the opportunity to lead in Milwaukee.