Borregos Path to Hornets Began in Video Scouting
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

June 30, 2010
Their friendship began in a place known around the San Antonio Spurs basketball-operations offices as The Cave. Five years later, theyll be teaming up once again, this time in a venue commonly referred to as The Hive.

After retiring from the NBA as a player in 2003, Monty Williams joined San Antonio during the 2004-05 season as a coaching intern. In his new role, one of the people Williams worked with extensively was video coordinator James Borrego, who was in his second year with the Spurs. En route to the Spurs winning their third NBA championship over a seven-year span in June 2005, the two men spent countless hours in San Antonios video room, breaking down film of opposing teams. They quickly realized that they held similar beliefs about the game of basketball.

Thats kind of how our relationship started, remembered Borrego, who was named a New Orleans Hornets assistant coach Wednesday at age 32. Monty wanted to dig in and get his hands dirty in video and learn. He and I spent a number of hours together, watching film, talking basketball philosophy. We bounced ideas off each other.

The (video coordinator) job sort of forces you to be in there for hours. Its like a bunker we called it The Cave. Some days youre in there and you dont even see the sun. You get there for work in the morning before the sun is up, and you stay there until after the sun is down. But its a great foundation for learning the game and building your philosophy.

Borrego earned a second NBA championship ring in 2007 with the Spurs. He and Williams remained close after Williams took an assistant coaching job with Portland in 2005-06 under Nate McMillan. Wed see each other four times a year (when San Antonio played against Portland during each regular season) and wed text each other throughout the year, Borrego said. He became a good friend of mine, and someone who shared the same values.

Borrego, who spent seven years with the Spurs, is the latest member of that organization to be hired and promoted by another NBA team. Several former San Antonio coaches and executives, such as Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti, have thrived in their new roles.

When I went there, they had just won the championship in 2003, said Borrego, a former University of San Diego forward who was a Toreros assistant for two seasons after college from 2001-03. My wife and I had heard great things about the organization, but had no idea it was going to turn into seven years of great experiences and being a part of two championships. All the great coaches and players there, and being a part of that family, it changed my life forever.

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