Kenny Atkinson is the frontrunner to land the Hornets‘ head coaching job, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, who report that the Warriors assistant will soon have another meeting with Hornets team officials. It’ll be Atkinson’s third meeting with Charlotte and the first one with team owner Michael Jordan in attendance, per The Athletic’s duo.
Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts are among the other candidates still in play for the Hornets’ head coaching vacancy, though neither of them has been invited to meet with Jordan so far, sources tell The Athletic. It’s possible that could change in the coming days.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report stated earlier this week that Atkinson and D’Antoni are among Charlotte’s finalists to replace James Borrego, noting at the time that Atkinson’s candidacy had gained momentum in recent weeks but D’Antoni was still believed to be favored by Jordan. Marc Stein reported today that he continues to hear the Hornets are likely to choose between Atkinson and D’Antoni.
The Hornets believe they’re on the verge of being a playoff team and want a head coach who will help the club take the next step, as well as providing “development and defensive structure” for key players like LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, per Charania and Amick.
Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak has led the team’s head coaching search after recently signing a two-year contract extension. That deal features a trigger allowing him to transition to a consulting role if and when he wants to do so, sources tell The Athletic.
The Warriors have already lost one key member of Steve Kerr‘s staff this spring, as Mike Brown agreed to become the new head coach in Sacramento. If Atkinson departs for Charlotte, Golden State will be down a pair of top assistants.
11 thoughts on “Kenny Atkinson Frontrunner For Hornets’ Coaching Job”
Mike D’Antoni has proven able to take his team to the playoffs. That’s the next step so he should be the hire here hands down.
In three or four years when Charlotte feels they are championship-caliber, (if that happens,) they can upgrade to a championship-caliber coach.
This is all based on the Hornets belief they are ready for playoff contention. Kenny Atkinson would be more suitable for a team trying to move from lotto-land to competitive .500 basketball. Same with Mark Jackson.
Wonder what the Dubs will do to fill the 2 vacancies if he leaves.
Hit the recently unemployed line.
DUBS can hire John Does from across the street, the team will still contend, as long as the All-Stars are all playing.
If Atkinson can get his team to .500 and competitive, the rest is on players and management to take the next step. It’s lame to put a ceiling on a coach who was doing well, until Kyrie Irving demanded a change.
He’s getting old and can barely walk. He couldnt even cut it as assistant coach with Nets. Feels like he just wants another payday.
D’Antoni has also proven he can ruin a team as he did with the Lakers and Knicks. He’s best suited for AAU.
Atkinson deserves this opportunity, but both he and Brown better focus on Celtics. And Lacob should stay quiet and not open his big mouth until Warriors win it all.
Agree Atkinson deserves the chance. I believe he’s a good choice.
Agreed. I think he’s a great choice for the current team. He was solid in Brooklyn with what he had.
Nets were exciting, played together & were up & coming … until the top brass got enraptured with Durant & Kyrie. So they blew up that team. Gone was Coach Atkinson, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, D’Angelo Russell. I agree Coach Atkinson deserves another chance.