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Celtics assistant coach Lee hired as coach of NBA Hornets

Boston Celtics assistant coach Charles Lee. Photo: Chris Marion / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP

Charles Lee, the top assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, has been hired as the new head coach of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, the team announced on Thursday.

Jeff Peterson, the Hornets executive vice president of basketball operations, said Lee will join the Hornets after the Celtics’ run in the NBA playoffs is concluded.

The Celtics, who had the NBA’s best regular-season record at 64-18, lead Cleveland 1-0 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference second-round series.

Lee, 39, has spent 10 years as an NBA assistant coach, first with Atlanta from 2014-2018 and then with Milwaukee from 2018-2023, helping the Bucks capture the 2021 NBA title.

“The opportunity to be the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets is a dream come true,” Lee said. “The Hornets have a talented young core of players and I’m excited about our future and what we can build.”

The Hornets have missed the playoffs for the past eight seasons and have never won a playoff series since being founded as the Charlotte Bobcats in 2004.

“We’re excited to welcome Charles Lee as the head coach of Charlotte Hornets,” Peterson said. “His high character and his ability to connect with players while also instilling a culture of accountability will serve us well as we construct a competitive team built for long-term success.

“Charles possesses a championship pedigree with a wide range of basketball knowledge and NBA experience, has a tremendous work ethic and is a great communicator.”

As an NBA assistant, Lee’s teams have reached the playoffs nine times in 10 seasons and achieved the NBA’s best record in four of the past six seasons.

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