MAY 5, 3:27pm: Borrego and Larranaga will each meet with the Hornets for a second interview this weekend, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Hornets owner Michael Jordan will be a part of both meetings.
MAY 4, 2:08pm: Count Spurs assistant James Borrego among those on the short list for the position. Earlier this afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweeted that both Borrego and Larranaga are “gathering momentum” in the team’s search for a new head coach.
Borrego had previously been linked to the Suns and Knicks, who have since committed to other candidates, as well as to the Hawks.
Meanwhile, Bonnell adds (via Twitter) that Raptors assistant Nick Nurse is also on the Hornets’ list of candidates, though it’s not clear whether Nurse is receiving serious consideration like Larranaga and Borrego.
MAY 4, 10:08am: Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga has emerged as a strong candidate for the Hornets’ head coaching job, reports Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Larranaga’s interview with Charlotte was first reported by Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports.
Bonnell stresses that the team has yet to make a final choice on Steve Clifford‘s replacement. However, Larranaga is receiving “strong consideration,” a source tells Bonnell.
As Bonnell details, the Hornets’ search process is moving along now that David Fizdale has accepted a job with the Knicks. Fizdale was one of several candidates Charlotte interviewed and was considering. Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka, David Vanterpool, James Borrego, Jim Boylen, and Jerry Stackhouse are all reportedly among the contenders for the Hornets’ job too, though Larranaga may be the frontrunner at this point.
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Larranaga, who had an extensive international career as a player, transitioned into coaching after he retired in 2009. He served as the head coach for the Erie BayHawks before joining the C’s as an assistant in 2012. Larranaga – who has been considered for head coaching jobs in past years by the Celtics, Sixers, and Grizzlies – also spoke to the Knicks and Hawks about their coaching vacancies this spring.
It’s not clear how Larranaga’s ongoing work with the Celtics will impact Charlotte’s search process. However, if the Hornets decide Larranaga is their man, the two sides could reach an agreement before Boston’s postseason run ends, as the Suns did with Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov.