Celtics' lead assistant named new head coach for the Hornets.
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Celtics’ lead assistant named new head coach for the Hornets.



Charles Lee will be with the Boston Celtics for one season.

The Charlotte Hornets have hired the Celtics’ primary assistant coach as their new head coach, the team announced Thursday morning. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Lee’s contract will continue through 2028.

Lee, who joined the Celtics in June after five seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, is Boston’s primary assistant to head coach Joe Mazzulla. Lee will stay with the Celtics for the remainder of their postseason run before joining the Hornets full-time, according to Wojnarowski.

The 39-year-old has ascended fast through the NBA coaching ranks, having won an NBA championship with Mike Budenholzer’s Bucks in 2021. Lee and Sam Cassell joined the Celtics’ coaching staff last summer and helped Boston finish 64-18, the fourth-best regular season in franchise history.

The Los Angeles Lakers were also interested in Lee for their head coaching position after breaking ways with Darvin Ham. Lee will instead go to Charlotte to replace Steve Clifford, who resigned down after the Hornets’ 21-61 season.

He’ll have his work cut out for him, as Charlotte hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016 and has only had one winning season throughout that time.

Fortunately for the Celtics, Lee’s work with the Hornets will have to wait until after the playoffs. The C’s have a 1-0 series lead in their Eastern Conference semifinals game with the Cleveland Cavaliers going into Game 2 at TD Garden.



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