Sources: Hornets to hire Atkinson as new coach

NBA

Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson has agreed to a four-year deal to grow to be the brand new head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, sources advised ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday.

Atkinson will exchange James Borrego, who was fired in April after going 138-163 in his 4 seasons with the staff.

The Hornets had narrowed their search to Atkinson and Mike D’Antoni. Each candidates already had two conferences with administration, together with with common supervisor Mitch Kupchak, after which met with proprietor Michael Jordan this week.

Atkinson is the second Golden State assistant coach set to go away the Warriors and take over a brand new staff. Mike Brown was employed to teach the Sacramento Kings subsequent season. Each are remaining with Golden State via the top of the NBA Finals, with Sport 4 towards the Boston Celtics set for Friday night time and Golden State trailing within the best-of-seven sequence 2-1.

Atkinson was 118-190 in three-plus years with the Brooklyn Nets, inheriting a full rebuild and displaying enchancment every season till he resigned after an injury-plagued 2019-20 season. He spent the 2020-21 season with the LA Clippers as an assistant earlier than becoming a member of Steve Kerr’s workers in Golden State forward of this run to the NBA Finals.

General, he has spent 9 seasons as an NBA assistant, together with 4 with the New York Knicks, three with the Atlanta Hawks and one every with the Clippers and Warriors.

The Hornets have missed the playoffs in six consecutive seasons, the longest drought in franchise historical past and second-longest lively streak behind the Kings (16). However Charlotte has a number of constructing blocks on a staff that went 43-39 in the course of the common season to succeed in the play-in recreation, together with All-Star LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, who is ready to be a restricted free agent.

This previous season, Charlotte struggled defensively, permitting 114.9 factors per recreation, which was tied for twenty fifth within the league. Atkinson improved the Nets’ defensive effectivity in each season of his four-year tenure, taking them from twenty third in 2017 to ninth in 2020.

ESPN Stats & Info contributed to this report.

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