The Charlotte Hornets season ended in huge disappointment when they lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in-tournament. The Hornets were going into an important off season and needed to move this franchise forward in the right direction. Since then, the Hornets had a coaching search that was long, bizarre, and ended up with them doubling back with former coach Steve Clifford, Montrez Harrell arrested for marijuana possession in Kentucky, and now Miles Bridges was arrested on felony domestic violence charges. Not many details of what happened have been released by law enforcement, however we do know Bridges’ wife ended up in the hospital and released photos of herself from the alleged incident. It’s to be seen how the Hornets and/or the NBA handle this situation.
Charlotte took their time and decided to hire Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, only for Atkinson to change his mind and not take the job just days before the draft. Atkinson said he had second thoughts because he didn’t want to uproot his family, while other rumors were that Atkinson reneged based on pay for his staff. Money could’ve also been the reason the Hornets didn’t hire Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni was reportedly a finalist before they hired Atkinson and was brought in again just for the Hornets to hire Clifford. Hiring a coach, then the coach changing his mind hasn’t happened too often in the NBA and it looks bad for an organization. Last time a situation like this happened was with Billy Donovan and the Orlando Magic.
Some fans have stated this is the worst off-season in the history of the franchise. I won’t go that far. Nothing will replace the sting of the team packing up and moving to New Orleans. Even though the NBA brought a team back a few years later, it took some fans a while to warm up. Hell, some fans may never return. This off-season has been filled with a lot of headlines, and not many of them have been positive. At times the front office has looked incompetent. Charlotte was linked to several trade rumors, but nothing came to fruition. Charlotte won’t be a major player in free agency and Gordon Hayward will still be on the roster – which is sure to agitate a lot of fans. The one trade the Hornets made was head scratching as well. The Hornets drafted Jalen Duren, then traded him for a 2023 first round pick from Denver, likely to be in the 20s, and four second round picks. Charlotte could’ve gotten a better package for Duren, who was valued by several teams in the NBA, and didn’t use its leverage to their advantage. Throw in the coaching situation and headlines and it’s been a head scratching summer for the Charlotte Hornets to say the least.