Darvin Ham was scheduled for a second interview for the Hornets‘ head coaching job prior to becoming the new head coach of the Lakers. With Ham off the table, former Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni and Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson are considered finalists for the position, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
President of basketball operations and general manager Mitch Kupchak has been busy preparing for the upcoming draft (the Hornets own the Nos. 13, 15, and 45 picks), which is partly why Charlotte’s search has progressed slower than the vacancies in Sacramento and Los Angeles. Kupchak’s new extension is a two-year deal, sources tell Fischer.
Another reason for the relative lack of progress is that none of the coaching candidates have met with owner Michael Jordan yet, as he was on vacation, but the final stage of interviews could occur this week once he returns, Fischer reports.
At the combine a couple of weeks ago, league personnel indicated Atkinson appeared to be gaining momentum for the position. The former Nets head coach “projected great confidence” that he’d ultimately land the job in calls with team staffers and other NBA figures with knowledge of the organization, according to Fischer. Atkinson is known as a detail-oriented person, and sources close to the coach indicate the research he’s done on the Hornets is reflective of that, Fischer says.
However, D’Antoni’s name has been linked to the Hornets most often, and a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told Fischer that D’Antoni appears to be favored by Jordan, which contradicts the “push-back” that Marc Stein received after reporting that D’Antoni appeared to be a strong candidate. Stein also recently said that if D’Antoni is hired, the offensive-minded coach could bring former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen, who’s known as a defense-first coach, along with him as an assistant.
As Fischer observes, Atkinson’s strong background in player development seemingly fits well with a young team trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015/16 (the Hornets were eliminated in the first game of the play-in tournament as the No. 10 seed each of the past two seasons). Having said that, Atkinson’s player development background is similar to James Borrego, who was fired after the season ended, leading to league speculation that Charlotte might opt to hire D’Antoni instead.
11 thoughts on “Latest On Hornets’ Head Coaching Search”
I’d suggest they postpone the decision.
Call up Hubert Davis (Stackhouse or King Rice can take his spot) from the farm team in Chapel Hill. Hire Hornet legend Marvelous Marvin Williams as head assistant. Send gift baskets to Atkinson & D’Antoni
Love the idea!
Great list. /s
“Ya know, we cant really do anything without a head coach, so I’m gonna take a vacation at the most crucial time for our organization” – MJ
After seeing the way he drafts (excluding Bridges and Ball), this doesn’t really really surprise me as a Hornets fan
Ehhhh… while it is a funny coincidence, there’s not much else going on. They lost out on Ham but was he high up in their ranking? I tend to think not and if so, Ham probably did himself a disservice taking the Lakers job too early. A lot points to the Hornets not really considering Ham all that much. I find it funny but they do have plenty of time to figure out the next choice, however, these are uninspired choices. Maybe D’Antoni helps the team reach new heights but I’m not so sure they go beyond first round fodder as currently constructed.
Hate to beat a dead horse, but the Hornets need a defensive minded coach, and are instead going for retreads the ownership is familiar with. They missed out on Ham due to dragging their feet; he will be the next Udoka.
“Toughness never lost anyone a game” Boylen tweeted, after following the Hornets account. “Might as well get my hat in the ring”, he muttered to no one in particular.
Nice. After the Bulls debacle I don’t want Boylen anywhere near the Hornets franchise.
Unfortunately the hornets front office dosent help, vacation time that the reason why did not hire a coach. Lamelo time in Charlotte will not be so long.
D’ Antoni will be the new head coach.