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Movers and Shakers: James Borrego

Movers and Shakers: James Borrego

James Borrego is in his first season as associate head coach with the New Orleans Pelicans

Photo by Derick Hingle

This 2023, James Borrego entered his first season as associate head coach with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Prior, Borrego served as the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets from 2018 to 2022, accruing a 136-163 record over four seasons that included two play-in tournament berths. In his final season with the Charlotte Hornets in 2021-22, Borrego led the team to forty-three wins, marking the franchise’s second-highest win total since 2009-2010. Borrego picked up the 100th win of his career as a head coach with a victory on April 18, 2021, versus Portland.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico, native began his NBA career as an assistant video coordinator with the San Antonio Spurs prior to the 2003-2004 season, spending seven seasons with the Spurs under head coach Gregg Popovich, and ascending to the role of assistant coach prior to his departure. No stranger to the Crescent City, he served two seasons as an assistant coach with New Orleans from 2010-2012 under Monty Williams. Borrego joined Jacque Vaughn’s staff with the Orlando Magic and served three seasons under Vaughn from 2013-2015. Borrego gained his initial head coaching experience in the NBA serving the final thirty games of the 2014-2015 season as the interim head coach after Vaughn’s dismissal. After returning to San Antonio for a second stint as an assistant coach for three seasons (2015 to 2018), Borrego was hired as Charlotte’s head coach.

In his nineteen seasons in the NBA, Borrego has been a part of staffs in San Antonio and New Orleans that have led teams to the playoffs eleven different times. Borrego has been a part of two NBA championship teams and been to four Conference Finals total.

Prior to the NBA, Borrego served two seasons (2001 to 2003) as an assistant coach at University of San Diego, his alma mater. Additionally, Borrego played four seasons collegiately for the Toreros from 1998 to 2001.  

Borrego has dedicated much of his time in the offseason to expanding basketball’s international influence. He participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Asia in 2012, Basketball Without Borders Argentina in 2013, NBA Camp Cuba in 2015, and Basketball Without Borders Americas in 2017.

Borrego earned a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in leadership studies from the University of San Diego. He and his wife, Megan, have a daughter, Grace, and two sons, Zachary and Nicholas.

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