Charlotte Hornets hire Boston Celtics assistant Charles Lee as new head coach

The Charlotte Hornets have found their new head coach. The team announced Thursday morning that it hired Boston Celtics assistant Charles Lee, who will join the team once Boston's playoff run is complete.

Lee has spent 10 years as an assistant in the NBA. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Lee is joining the Hornets on a four-year contract.

“We are excited to welcome Charles Lee as the head coach of Charlotte Hornets,” Hornets executive vice president of basketball operations Jeff Peterson said in a statement. “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. He shares our vision for this organization, and I look forward to partnering with him in building something special here in the Carolinas.”

Before joining Boston's coaching staff, Lee was an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks from 2018-23. He began his coaching career with the Atlanta Hawks in 2014.

“The opportunity to be the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets is a dream come true,” Lee said in a statement. “I want to thank Rick Schnall, Gabe Plotkin and Jeff Peterson for the trust they are placing in me to lead this team. The Hornets have a talented young core of 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, and I look forward to coming to Charlotte and getting to work.”

The Hornets finished the 2023-24 season with a 21-61 record, 13th in the Eastern Conference. In early April, former head coach Steve Clifford announced he would step down at the end of the season and would move into a front-office advisory role next season.

The Celtics went 64-18 this season and are currently battling the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs after dispatching the Miami Heat in the first round. They hold a 1-0 series lead over Cleveland, with Game 2 on Thursday night.