Kenny Atkinson backs out of Charlotte Hornets head-coaching job, report says

Atkinson had agreed to become the team’s next coach, according to prior reports.
Kenny Atkinson will no longer become the Hornets' next head coach.
Kenny Atkinson will no longer become the Hornets' next head coach.(Source: NBA)
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 3:46 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - After reportedly agreeing to become the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets just last week, Kenny Atkinson will not take the job.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced Atkinson’s decision on Twitter Saturday afternoon.

In his tweet, Wojnarowski said that Atkinson had ‘further conversations’ following the Golden State Warriors’ NBA Finals victory earlier this week, and decided it is in his best interest to remain Golden State’s top assistant.

The 55-year-old had agreed to a four-year deal, but never signed a contract because his season was still going with the Warriors.

Golden State clinched the franchise’s fourth title in the past eight years on Thursday night with a 103-90 victory.

Atkinson previously served as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets from 2016-2020, where he went 118-190 in the regular season and made the playoffs once.

He spent the 2020-21 season as an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers before joining the Warriors’ staff this past season.

The Hornets will now re-enter the coaching search. Mark D’Antoni was another highly talked-about candidate during the team’s initial search, and could be in the running for the job once more.

Whoever Charlotte hires will inherit a talented roster with the likes of LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier.

Atkinson backs out of the position just days before the 2022 NBA Draft, which will take place this coming Thursday.

Charlotte currently holds the 13th and 15th-overall picks in the first round.

James Borrego was fired in April after four years at the helm. Borrego made the play-in tournament the past two seasons, but never reached the playoffs with the Hornets.

D’Antoni and former Portland head coach Terry Stotts were finalists in the initial search.

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