Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, fresh from the NBA Championship, has reportedly rejected an offer to be Charlotte Hornets’ next head coach.
Atkinson turned down the course more than a week after agreeing to a four-year deal with the Hornets, the Associated Press reported. Hornets has never announced Atkinson as the new head coach and remains one of only two teams in the NBA without a head coach as the off-season approaches.
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It is unclear what caused the setback. The warriors were thrilled to hear the news that the assistant coach would be on staff on Saturday. Fellow assistant Mike Brown took the Sacramento Kings job in May.
“We know Kenny did an amazing job when he was in Brooklyn. We did not talk about it enough,” Warriors guard Jordan Poole said. “Because he was able to bring all of the knowledge and insight and positive emotion and military drive, it’s already great to add to the winning culture. And because of that we got the ring. … He’s definitely invested a lot and we hope we can do it again. You need guys like that and people like that. “
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Andrew Wiggins added: “That means too much. He quit his head coaching job to come back.”
Atkinson is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the NBA. He was on the bench of the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks from 2008 to 2016 before getting a job with the Brooklyn Nets.
Atkinson was 118-190 with the Nets and appeared in a playoff.
He was with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2020-21 before joining the Warriors earlier this season.
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The Hornets fired James Borego after the 2021-22 season. Borrego was with Charlotte but failed to make the playoffs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.