Charlotte Hornets received a true “cold bath” this Saturday (18). Kenny Atkinson has denied the possibility of becoming Charlotte’s head coach and has informed the franchise that he will remain an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN sources.
At the NBA Finals last week, Atkinson reportedly accepted the offer that Hornets took him for granted as the team’s new head coach. However, according to ESPN sources, he believes it’s best to follow defending champion Warriors, both personally and professionally.
Atkinson and Hornets agreed on a four-year contract in principle, but sources said the contract was never signed.
Atkinson had already traveled three times in three years. He quit his job as head coach of Brooklyn Nets and became a continuous assistant at the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State. Atkinson returns to the newly crowned NBA champion for the second season under Steve Kerr.
Atkinson informed Charlotte and Golden State of his decision on Saturday, sources said. He will be the top assistant in the Golden State. Mike Brown is gone after he takes on the role of head coach at Sacramento Kings.
Atkinson was one of the last three to become Hornets head coaches, but was the only candidate to meet owner Michael Jordan — he did it on June 8th in Boston. NBA longtime coaches Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts are also in the final group of the process, with Charlotte’s general manager Mitch Kupchak searching for James Bolego, who left after the league’s 2021-22 season. If you resume, you may be a candidate again.
Atkinson was 118-190 in Nets for over three years. He inherited a complete rebuild and showed seasonal improvements until he left after the injured 2019-20 season. After spending the 2020-21 season as an assistant with the Clippers, he joined Steve Kerr’s Golden State team to win the NBA.
Overall, he spent nine seasons as an NBA assistant, four seasons at the New York Knicks, three seasons at the Atlanta Hawks, and one season at the Clippers and Warriors.
Wasps missed the playoffs for six consecutive seasons. It’s the longest drought in franchise history and the second longest active streak after Kings, who hasn’t had a postseason for 16 years. However, Charlotte has some building blocks on the team that did 43-39 to make a play-in during the regular season. The team includes interesting names like All-Star LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, which should be restricted free agents.
(Photo: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)