Kenny Atkinson turned down Hornets to stay on Warriors bench: report

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Kenny Atkinson, assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors, Fresh from an NBA Championshipreportedly turned down an offer to become the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets.

The Associated Press reported that Atkinson reversed course more than a week after agreeing to a four-year contract with the Hornets. Hornet never announced Atkinson Remain as the new head coach and as one of two teams in the NBA without a head coach off-season.

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FILE – Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson watches during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards on February 1, 2020 in Washington.
(AP Photo/Nick Vaas, FILE)

It is not clear what caused the reversal. The Warriors were thrilled to hear the news of the assistant coach being on staff on Saturday. Fellow assistant Mike Brown took the job for the Sacramento Kings in May.

“We knew Kenny did an amazing job when he was in Brooklyn. He’s not talked about enough,” Warriors Protect Jordan Poole Told. “For him to be able to bring all the wisdom and insight and positive spirit and military campaign, it’s wonderful to add to an already winning culture. And we got a ring because of him. … He’s obviously very invested And we believe we can do it again. You want people like that and people like that.”

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Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson talks with assistant coach Mike Brown during a timeout during the first quarter of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics on Friday, June 10, 2022 in Boston.

Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson talks with assistant coach Mike Brown during a timeout during the first quarter of Game 4 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics on Friday, June 10, 2022 in Boston.
(AP Photo/Steven Sene)

Andrew Wiggins said: “It means a lot. He left a head coaching job to come back.”

Atkinson is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the NBA. He was on the bench for 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 made one playoff appearance.

He was with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2020-21 before joining the Warriors earlier this season.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, center, celebrates with teammates as he holds the Bill Russell Trophy for Most Valuable Player after the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals of Basketball, Thursday, June 16 , won in Boston on 2022.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, center, celebrates with teammates as he holds the Bill Russell Trophy for Most Valuable Player after the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals of Basketball, Thursday, June 16 , won in Boston on 2022.
(AP Photo/Steven Sene)

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The Hornets fired James Borrego after the 2021–22 season. Borrego was with Charlotte but failed to make the playoffs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.