June 18 update: Atkinson has decided to remain with the Warriors after the team won the NBA Finals, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. This means he will be declining Charlotte’s head coaching gig, which he previously had agreed to take and had a four-year contract locked up. It’s an interesting move, but Atkinson believes he has more juice going forward with Golden State.
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
Update: Atkinson has agreed to a four-year deal with the Hornets for the head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson has agreed to a four-year deal to become the new coach of the Charlotte Hornets, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2022
The Charlotte Hornets are set to hire Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson to the franchise’s head coaching position, per Shams Charania. Atkinson will replace James Borrego, who took the Hornets to a second consecutive play-in game berth but could not make the playoffs.
Atkinson previously served as a head coach with the Brooklyn Nets, but was ultimately pushed out once Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant signed with the team and wanted a different voice. Atkinson is said to be strong at developing younger players, which would fit Charlotte’s profile.
The Hornets have potential stars in the making in LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, but players like Kai Jones, James Bouknight and PJ Washington are important to the team’s ceiling. The thinking is Atkinson can help develop those guys.
Atkinson finished 118-190 as a head coach with the Nets. The Hornets are +10000 to win the title next season per DraftKings Sportsbook.