The Charlotte Hornets are prowling for a new head coach and a familiar name has cropped up to succeed former mentor James Borrego.

Although it was not mentioned how favored D’Antoni is by other potential coaching candidates, there is a key factor to consider.

The two-time NBA Coach of the Year worked with current Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2012 to 2014 and the familiarity could be a factor, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported.

It will be recalled that the 70-year-old left the Lakers due to a contract dispute in 2014. From there, he worked as an associate head coach with the Philadelphia 76ers from 2015 to 2016.

After that stint, he went on to coach the Houston Rockets before ending up with the Brooklyn Nets at present, serving as an assistant coach.

D’Antoni could make sense for the Hornets, a team that would thrive under his up-tempo style of play. Although his style of coaching may no longer be at the top of the curve, his coaching experience could work. However, questions are in the air on how far he could lead the embattled Hornets.

Aside from the American-Italian head coach, other candidates on the Hornets’ list allegedly include Golden State’s Kenny Atkinson, Milwaukee’s Darvin Ham and Dallas’ Sean Sweeney.

Among those names, D’Antoni and Atkinson are reportedly set to be interviewed by Hornets’ management according to the ESPN report.

Borrego’s firing came a bit of a surprise, someone who Charlotte thought could lead the team to their first NBA playoff appearance since 2016. Things just didn’t fall into place although Charlotte has shown promise with its retooled lineup, led no less by a young LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges.

The Hornets bowed out in the play-in tournament, falling to the Atlanta Hawks, 132-103.

Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns discusses a play with head coach Mike D'Antoni
Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns discusses a play with head coach Mike D'Antoni Getty Images | Jeff Gross

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