The Rockets interviewed former Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson for their head coaching opening this week, according to Alykhan Bijani and Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Atkinson was identified as a possible candidate to coach the Rockets shortly after Mike D’Antoni parted ways with the team. Houston’s interest was later confirmed in a separate report, but the fact that Atkinson has met with the club is new information.
Atkinson, who began his coaching career in France in 2004, later served as an assistant for the Knicks from 2008-12 and for the Hawks from 2012-16 before taking over as the Nets’ head coach. He led a rebuilding Brooklyn club to a 118-190 (.383) record over three-and-a-half seasons, earning a playoff berth in 2019. The Nets let him go in March, less than a week before the NBA went on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tyronn Lue and David Vanterpool are among the other candidates who are reportedly meeting with the Rockets about their head coaching position. Houston assistant John Lucas is said to be an “emerging candidate” for the role, while the team has also been linked to the likes of Jeff Van Gundy, Sam Cassell, and Chris Finch, as our tracker shows.
The timeline for a Rockets hire is unclear.