The Warriors did not lose many games and will not lose a significant assistant, either.
Kenny Atkinson, the former Nets head coach who reportedly had accepted an offer to become the Hornets head coach, will not take the job after all.
According to ESPN, “further conversations” led to Atkinson believing his best decision would be to remain with Golden State, where he will become the top assistant. Mike Brown, who accepted the Kings’ head coaching job, previously held the spot.
Atkinson would have been an interesting fit with Charlotte, which team owner Michael Jordan is building around LaMelo Ball. Atkinson is regarded for his work at developing players, especially point guards, as D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie took leaps under him in Brooklyn.
According to the report, the Hornets will have to restart the hiring process. In the first time around, Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts were the other two finalists.
So Steve Kerr and his NBA champion Warriors have beaten Jordan, Kerr’s former Bulls teammate. Atkinson will return for a second season with Golden State after one season with the Clippers. He coached the Nets from 2016-20, with surprising successes (including a 2018-19 playoff appearance) before being fired prior to coaching a game with Kevin Durant.