Kenny Atkinson won’t become the new head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. Instead, Atkinson decided to snub the Hornets in favor of staying on Steve Kerr’s staff with the Golden State Warriors.
The Hornets identified Atkinson as James Borrego’s successor back in early June, and the two sides agreed on a four-year deal. However, after winning an NBA title with the Warriors last week, Atkinson changed his mind and decided to remain in Golden State.
The contract was reportedly never signed, making it easier for Atkinson to back out of a job. He is now expected to be the top assistant on the Warriors’ staff after Mike Brown leaves to become the head coach for the Sacramento Kings.
The Charlotte Hornets considered various candidates for their head-coaching vacancy before reportedly settling on finalists in former NBA Coach of the Year Mike D’Antoni and Atkinson. The two were scheduled to meet with Hornets’ owner Michael Jordan, but only Atkinson ended up making it to the final interview. He was offered the job shortly after, and D’Antoni reportedly never got a face-to-face with Jordan.
It remains to be seen whether the Hornets simply circle back to D’Antoni or decide to restart the search. It is believed that former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, who was a candidate early in the process, might also get a second look.