The pressure is on for the Charlotte Hornets to ace their head coaching search

What happens if the Hornets are unable to land one of their reported finalists in JJ Redick or Charles Lee?
Oct 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Milwaukee Bucks associated head coach Charles Lee directs his
Oct 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Milwaukee Bucks associated head coach Charles Lee directs his / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to close. It’s time for the Charlotte Hornets to end their month-long search for their new head coach. The longer this process drags out, the more it appears Charlotte once again won’t be able to nab their top choice.

Remember when Kenny Atkinson accepted the Hornets job, then he turned around and backed out? Atkinson pulled the NBA’s version of the Josh McDaniels saga that played out with the Indianapolis Colts back in 2018.

A few years later, the Hornets are still trying to recover from that moment.

Now, with the opportunity to replace Steve Clifford as he moves into a front office advisory role, will Charlotte’s new aggressive ownership group led by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin close the deal?

The Hornets’ coaching search appears to have stalled out with two reported finalists: ESPN analyst JJ Redick and Boston Celtics lead assistant coach Charles Lee.

With Charlotte committing to a thorough search, the supposed advantage they gained becoming one of the first openings has fallen by the wayside.

The Los Angeles Lakers have since fired Darvin Ham, and now the Hornets’ two finalists will interview for the opportunity to lead LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Also, keep a close eye on the Phoenix Suns as Frank Vogel’s future remains murky after only one season. A decision from Phoenix is expected this week, and another firing could push the Hornets down another peg as a preferred vacancy.

Whether it be Redick or Lee, it’s time for the Hornets to wrap this up soon before they once again are left awkwardly standing around with no dance partner.

“I’ve been very open about this: I have a desire to coach in the NBA,” Redick recently said on The Pivot Podcast. “Life is about timing. Life is about the right situation. So, I can’t say a ‘when’ and I can’t say a definite ‘it’s going to happen.’” The ecosystem that I’ve built up the last three years, I take a lot of joy in this and I love doing it. And it’s important to me. You work so hard for something, I don’t want to give that up, you know? So, I don’t know when, but it’s certainly a desire.”

Redick wants to coach in the NBA, and a situation like Charlotte is the ideal landing spot for him. Unlike in Los Angeles or potentially Phoenix, the pressure to win right away is nonexistent. Instead, the Hornets would give Redick at minimum a three-plus year runway to rebuild the roster to sustainable winning.

However, again, it’s going to be on the Hornets’ triumvirate of Schnall, Plotkin and new general manager Jeff Peterson to close the deal, if Redick is their preferred choice.

Meanwhile, Lee all along has been viewed as the heavy favorite due to his connects littered throughout the Hornets’ organization. Lee worked alongside Schnall and Peterson with the Atlanta Hawks at the start of his coaching career.

If Lee trusts Schnall and Peterson, this should soon wrap up, right?

Questions will continue to be asked towards the Hornets related to their coaching search until a hire is officially made. The longer this drags out, the feeling of deja vu continue to play out in Charlotte.

If the Hornets haven’t hired their new head coach by the end of this week, it might be time to press the panic button and truly ask what is going on here.