Ring secured in Boston, Charles Lee reports to work in Charlotte

League: NBA

Posted on: 25 Jun, 2024 at 08:29 PM

Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Lee clocked in as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday after helping the Boston Celtics secure the NBA title last week.

Lee was introduced formally at a high-rise building in Charlotte while the team's home arena, Spectrum Center, undergoes renovations and as the Hornets get set to continue constructing the roster with the NBA draft on Wednesday night.

"I'm just extremely thankful that you guys believed in me," said Lee, who has been a finalist for head-coaching jobs the past two offseasons. "That we can be aligned. Lock our views. A lot of people always told me, the right one will happen at the right time.

"I have very high aspirations for what we can continue to build here."

The Hornets enter the 2024 draft with the No. 6 overall pick looking to build around a core of LaMelo Ball (No. 3, 2020) and Brandon Miller (No. 2, 2023), who were in attendance Tuesday for the intro session on the 22nd floor of the Lowe's Tech Hub building.

The Hornets were 21-61 last season and Steve Clifford, who twice served as head coach of the franchise, stepped into a front office role.

Lee, 39, was hired by president of basketball operations Jeff Peterson, 35, to lead the Hornets.

Lee has been an NBA assistant coach for 10 seasons.

The reunion brings the duo back together after working in the Atlanta Hawks' organization at the outset of their NBA careers.

Lee spent five years as an assistant coach for former Hawks (2014) and Milwaukee Bucks (2018-22) coach Mike Budenholzer and was hired to be an assistant coach on Joe Mazzulla's staff in 2023. He remained with the Celtics for the duration of the championship run with Peterson's permission.

The Hornets have lost two play-in games (2021, 2022) since the franchise last played in a postseason series (2016) and Charlotte hasn't won a playoff series since 2002.

Lee said he'll incorporate parts of the approach from his NBA title-winning experiences under Budenholzer and Mazzulla immediately.

"Both phenomenal coaches," Lee said. "The biggest thing I want to take from both of them is they created a culture of work."

--Field Level Media