After winning the championship with the Golden State Warriors, assistant coach Kenny Atkinson was set to become the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. He was going to try his hand at building a true playoff team centered around LaMelo Ball. Now, that won’t be the case.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Atkinson will stay on the Warriors’ staff as the top assistant to Steve Kerr. He believes that it will be best to remain in the Bay Area with the champions rather than go to up-and-coming Hornets.
ESPN Sources: Kenny Atkinson has decided he won’t become the Charlotte Hornets’ head coach and will remain with Golden State as top assistant. After being offered job during the NBA Finals, further conversations led Atkinson to believe it would be best to remain with Warriors.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2022
Atkinson joined the Warriors’ staff prior to this season following an assistant coach gig with the LA Clippers. He was set to become an NBA head coach for the second time after coaching the Brooklyn Nets from 2016 to 2020. Now, Charlotte will have to go back to their hiring process to find a replacement for James Borrego.
According to FOX Charlotte, Atkinson had left the Hornets high and dry on his change of heart. They were previously looking into Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts before agreeing to terms with Atkinson. D’Antoni had made it far in the interview process. His offensive expertise would make him a very fitting coach for the roster in Charlotte.
The Warriors, meanwhile, keep one of their best assistant coaches while Mike Brown leaves Kerr’s staff to become the head coach of the Sacramento Kings. Kenny Atkinson will continue working with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the young Warriors players as they look to go back to back.