Last summer, Kenny Atkinson turned down a head coach job for a Southeast Division team. This summer, a different team in the division appears to be interested in his services.
Sources: The Hawks' head coaching candidates are expected to include Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, G League South Bay's Miles Simon and former Jazz coach Quin Snyder.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 21, 2023
New Atlanta GM Landry Field only mentioned Snyder by name while speaking to reporters a day after firing head coach Nate McMillan. Snyder was an assistant under Atlanta’s most successful coach in decades, current Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, but so were Atkinson and current Coach Bud assistant Charles Lee.
Atkinson started his NBA coaching career as one of Mike D’Antoni’s assistants with the New York Knicks in 2008, after a 12-year international playing career. After 2012, he joined Budenholzer’s staff in Atlanta, where he helped the rebuilt, post-Iso-Joe win 60 game sin 2014-15. Then, in 2016, he took over the Brooklyn Nets, coaching them to two playoff appearances before being fired right before the 2019-20 season was shut down.
Do the Warriors need to look for a new assistant? Probably not. The Hawks are already talking to Snyder about taking the job next year.
Atkinson might be better off. The Hawks have turned over decision-making power to the owner’s 27-year-old son, who has no basketball experience. That’s unreliable. Coach Atkinson is better off with the Warriors for now, where the owner’s children who have outsized decision-making power have at least worked in the NBA for a while.