Hornets team president Rod Higgins has resigned from his post, according to a team release.
Higgins has been with the franchise (formerly known as the Bobcats) as an executive since 2007, first as the team's general manager before his promotion in 2011. During that time Charlotte went through five different head coaches and hired Rich Cho as general manager. Cho will remain with the Hornets despite Higgins' resignation and will oversee Charlotte's basketball operations.
“I would like to thank Rod for his seven years of dedication to this organization,” said Hornets owner Michael Jordan in a statement. “Rod has been a consummate professional throughout his time with the team. Thanks to his hard work and commitment, we have an improved roster and we are poised for success in the future. Rod was of great help to me as I navigated my first four years as majority owner of this franchise. I wish him all the best.”
Higgins was a former teammate of Jordan's and his assistant general manager for three years with the Wizards. The timing of this announcement and the decision therein are both baffling. For one, Charlotte tried to sneak the news of Higgins' resignation after midnight following Game 4 of the NBA Finals; this release wasn't slid under the door so much as buried beneath the floorboards. As for Higgins' resignation itself, the timing is strange given the proximity to the NBA draft. In two weeks Charlotte will have to figure out the best use for the No. 9, No. 24 and No. 45 picks. With that comes the complicated work of measuring prospects against one another and against all manner of trade possibilities. Soon after is free agency, making this a rather curious time for a team to undergo such a significant change in its basketball operations structure.