Kenny Atkinson agrees to be the Hornets’ next coach

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Charlotte Hornets have agreed a four-year deal with Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson to become their next head coach, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Friday because Atkinson had not yet signed the contract. The Warriors play the Boston Celtics on Friday night in the fourth game of the NBA Finals.

The 55-year-old Atkinson was 118-190 in more than three seasons as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets while the organization was in the process of rebuilding.

He is the second Golden State assistant to accept a new job during the Warriors ’playoff run this spring. Warriors assistant Mike Brown has taken over the job as Sacramento’s new coach, though he will remain with Golden State until the end of the NBA Finals.

The hiring of Atkinson by the Hornets leaves only one current vacancy in the NBA: it’s Utah, after Quin Snyder made the decision to resign earlier this week.


Atkinson took over the Nets in 2016-17, inheriting a team that was 21-61 but had begun the rebuilding process.

The Nets finished 20-62 in their first season under Atkinson before improving to 28-54 in their second year. Brooklyn was 42-40 in its third season and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Atkinson resigned at the end of his fourth season when the Nets finished 35-37 and lost again in the first round of the playoffs in 2019-20.

He spent the last two seasons as an assistant to the Los Angeles Clippers and Warriors.

The Hornets haven’t been to the playoffs since the 2015-16 season and haven’t won a series of playoffs in more than two decades.

Still, there is talent on the list that Atkinson can build.

All-Star baseman LaMelo Ball is considered the player building the franchise, and baseman Terry Rozier, much-improved striker Miles Bridges and veteran striker Gordon Hayward have struggled to stay healthy since joining Charlotte two years ago. seasons. all were successful in the league.


The Hornets have an obvious need at the center, something the franchise hopes to address this offseason.

The decision concludes a search for a coach that included interviews with former Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, who was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Pelicans consultant and longtime NBA coach Mike D’Antoni, the former coach of Trail Blazers Terry Stotts and assistant coaches Sean. Sweeney of Dallas, David Vanterpool of Brooklyn and Charles Lee of Milwaukee.

Atkinson replaces James Borrego, whom Michael Jordan, owner of the Hornets, fired on April 22.

Borrego, 44, had led 138-163 in four seasons with the Hornets and last August had received a contract extension for several years.

The Hornets were 43-39 and finished tenth in the Eastern Conference last season before being eliminated in the playoffs for the second straight season, something that did not sit well with Jordan. The 2020-21 season was considered a playoff or fall season for Charlotte, and it was unable to advance to a playoff series.



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Kenny Atkinson agrees to be the Hornets’ next coach

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