The Hornets have begun the initial interview process for their head coaching vacancy, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), who states that the team’s initial list includes former Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, current Warriors assistant and former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, Bucks lead assistant Darvin Ham, and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney.
As Wojnarowski observes (Twitter link), D’Antoni worked with Hornets president of basketball operations and general manager Mitch Kupchak while the two were with the Lakers, and they “had a good working relationship.” D’Antoni holds 16 seasons worth of head coaching experience with Denver, Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles and Houston, compiling a regular season record of 672-527.
The 70-year-old interviewed for the Kings’ head coaching job, but isn’t a finalist. D’Antoni is renowned for his offensive acumen and helped get the best from a couple of elite offensive players in Steve Nash and James Harden. Clearly, Charlotte thinks he might help with LaMelo Ball‘s development.
Atkinson was an assistant with the Knicks and Hawks prior to becoming Brooklyn’s head coach from 2016-20, where he compiled a 118-190 record. Those numbers are a bit deceiving, because he inherited a young, flawed roster that he helped lead to the playoffs in his third year at the helm. He has been an assistant with the Clippers and the Warriors the past two seasons.
Ham has been very busy recently. In addition to serving as Mike Budenholzer‘s top assistant with the Bucks as they try to defend their title, Ham has also interviewed for the lead coaching jobs in Sacramento and Los Angeles. Ham has been an NBA assistant for 11 years; he started with the Lakers for a couple seasons prior to working under Budenholzer in Atlanta and now Milwaukee.
Sweeney is in his ninth season as an assistant coach, having spent time with Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Detroit and now Dallas. He has worked under Mavs head coach Jason Kidd with the Nets, Bucks and Mavs.
Sweeney has been credited with leading the team’s defensive turnaround — after ranking 21st in defensive rating last season, Dallas was seventh this season. The Mavs went 3-1 with Sweeney serving as acting head coach when Kidd was in the health and safety protocols back in January.
7 thoughts on “Hornets To Interview D’Antoni, Atkinson, Ham, Sweeney”
It’s still laughable how Atkinson was treated by KD and Kyrie, literally firing him for not starting their friend DeAndre Jordan ahead of young star Jarret Allen.
Atkinson is the only coach on this list I want to see in Charlotte. He seemed like he did a good job in Brooklyn, and any coach that had to deal with the KD/Kyrie nonsense deserves a 2nd chance.
They actually made playoff without KD/Kyrie.
Funny thing is look how good the cavs are with Allen and look how good the nets are without him . I’ll take a talented center over a dinosaur
Dantoni makes sense for this uptempo roster
Dantoni will end up coaching every team….dude has gotten around!
Atkinson should be it …….. though for some strange reason, I also like D’ Antoni for these HORNETS.
Ball, Bridges and all the other young horses might make that biggest leap under D’ Antoni.
Who knows, Hayward might just play half a season worth of games.
Make it happen MJ.