Celtics' Assistant Likely Candidate for Hornets' Head-Coaching Vacancy

Dec 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla and assistant coach Charles Lee.
Dec 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla and assistant coach Charles Lee. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford is stepping down at the end of this season. The New England native is working to finalize a front-office role with the franchise.

Wojnarowski also noted that Boston Celtics lead assistant Charles Lee is expected to be among those considered to fill Charlotte's vacancy as it searches for a new bench boss.

It would come as no surprise if Lee, one of the NBA's top assistant coaches, earns a head coaching job this summer after only one season in Boston. It nearly happened last offseason, including almost getting the Detroit Pistons opening before they made one final, successful push to hire Monty Williams.

The Hornets have built a promising young core of LaMelo Ball, last year's number two draft pick Brandon Miller, and Mark Williams. At 18-57, they're currently in the bottom four in the standings and projected to have a top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Their opening represents the potential opportunity for Lee to grow with a young team that could quickly become competitive and rise up the Eastern Conference standings.

Further Reading

Celtics Dialed in Defensively in Double-Digit Win Over Pelicans

Jaylen Brown Shares What's Fueling Career Year: 'Nothing in This World Gonna Break My Spirit'

Jaylen Brown's Evolution Crucial to Celtics' Desire to Win with More Than Talent

Celtics Embracing Challenge to Go Beyond Most Talented

Jayson Tatum Opens Up About Sacrificing in Celtics' Title Pursuit: 'It's a Process'

Brad Stevens Discusses Celtics' Plan for Final Roster Spot

Marcus Smart Shares How Boston Shaped Him, His Message to Celtics Fans

Celtics Maturation Molded by Experience: 'It Builds, Like, an Armor'

Jaylen Brown Quieting Doubters, Validating What He Always Believed: 'Earn Everybody's Trust'

Joe Mazzulla Discusses Identity, Evolution of Celtics' Offense: 'Balance of Pace and Execution'

Bobby Krivitsky


Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.