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Charlotte Hornets names Charles Lee as head coach

May 9, 2024 – Charlotte Hornets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Jeff Peterson announced today that the team has hired Charles Lee as head coach. Lee, who has 10 years of experience as an NBA assistant coach, will join the Hornets following the conclusion of the NBA Playoffs with the Boston Celtics, where he spent the 2023-2024 season as the team’s lead assistant.

“We are thrilled to welcome Charles Lee as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets,” Peterson said. “His high character and ability to connect with players while instilling a culture of accountability will serve us well as we build a competitive team built for long-term success. Charles has a championship pedigree, extensive basketball knowledge and NBA experience, an incredible work ethic and an excellent communicator. He shares our vision for this organization and I look forward to working with him to build something special here in the Carolinas. I can’t wait for our Hornets community to meet Charles, his wife Lindsey and his beautiful daughters, and to feel Charles’ passion for the game and the intensity of his desire to win.”

Prior to joining Boston, Lee served as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks for five seasons (2018-2023), before being promoted to associate head coach and helping lead the team to the 2020-21 NBA Championship. He started his NBA career as an assistant coach for four seasons (2014-2018) with the Atlanta Hawks. During Lee’s 10 seasons in the NBA, Lee’s teams compiled a 510-291 (.637) regular season record, reached the playoffs nine times, won seven championships and was seeded as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference five times. In four of the last six seasons, his teams finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA.

“The opportunity to be the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets is a dream come true,” Lee said. “I want to thank Rick Schnall, Gabe Plotkin and Jeff Peterson for the confidence they have in me to lead this team. The Hornets have talented young players and I’m excited about our future and what we can build here. There are few places as passionate about basketball as the Carolinas, so I’m excited to come to Charlotte and work.

During Lee’s 2023–2024 campaign in Boston, the Celtics finished the season with the NBA’s best record (64–18). Boston’s 64 wins were the fourth-most in a season in franchise history. With Lee’s help, the Celtics led the NBA in offensive rating and net rating while ranking third in defensive rating.

While in Milwaukee, despite two regular seasons shortened due to the pandemic, the Bucks averaged 54.2 wins in Lee’s five years with the team, including a 60-win campaign in the 2018–19 season, which tied for the third-most wins in a season in franchise history.

While in Atlanta, Lee helped engineer a Hawks defense that finished in the top six in defensive rating for three straight seasons. In Lee’s first year on the team (2014–2015), Atlanta won a record 60 games and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Lee began his coaching career at his alma mater, Bucknell University, where he was an assistant for two seasons (2012-2014). He played four seasons (2002-2006) with the Bison, leading the team to two Patriot League titles and the only two NCAA tournament victories in school history, including a victory over No. 14 Kansas in 2005. Lee was inducted into the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017, and during the 2005–06 season he was named the Patriot League Player of the Year, was selected to the All-Patriot League three times, and was the first player in conference history to win back-to-back Patriot League Tournament MVP awards . Lee had four professional seasons overseas, with stops in Israel, Belgium and Germany.

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Lee and his wife Lindsey have three daughters: Corinne, Vivian and Josephine.

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