Hornets coach: This is a difficult time

By Richard Walker

Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego on a zoom news conference earlier this month. [Hornets.com photo]
Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego admitted before Wednesday’s game at Atlanta in a zoom news conference that the protests in Washington, D.C., that have drawn national and international attention were impossible to ignore.

“It feels a little odd to play a game tonight,” Borrego said. “The pain and the hurt in our country is real. It’s disheartening. It’s disappointing. It’s embarrassing for our country. It’s not the country I want my kids to inherit and it’s extremely sad.”

Borrego said he would meet with his players and staffers prior to a game slated for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against the Hawks, who are located in a city has seen its share of political strife since the contentious national election in November and again in a pair of U.S. senate runoff elections on Tuesday.

“We have a job to do,” Borrego continued. “Everybody deals with this differently. I don’t know how any person, player or staff member feels. We love this game. (But) this is bigger than any basketball game at this moment.”

Borrego said he watched the protests unfold on television Wednesday afternoon following his team’s morning shootaround practice session.

“It’s a difficult time – that’s all I can say,” said Borrego, who has a wife and three children. “I think about my family. The last couple of hours have been difficult. It’s a sad time for our country.”

Borrego, 43, is in his third season as Charlotte Hornets head coach.