clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hawks considering Warriors’ Atkinson for head coach job

Atlanta fired head coach Nate McMillan, but Kenny Atkinson is reportedly a candidate for the job. But not their first choice.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
Kenny Atkinson could be a head coach next year, if he can bear to be away from Steve Kerr.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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.

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.

The Charlotte Hornets agreed on a four-year deal with Atkinson, but he changed his mind after the Warriors won the Finals and stayed with Golden State.

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.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Golden State of Mind Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Golden State Warriors news from Golden State of Mind