Atkinson stunning announcement: backs out of 4-year deal with Charlotte to stay with Golden State

Atkinson spurs Hornets: stays with Golden State
FILE – Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson watches during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Feb. 1, 2020, in Washington. The Charlotte Hornets have agreed to terms on a contract with Atkinson, now a Golden State Warriors assistant, to become their next coach, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because Atkinson has not yet signed the contract. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Kenny Atkinson is going back to Golden State. 

Just a few days after reportedly agreeing to become the next head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, the 55-year old coach has reportedly informed the team that he will no longer be taking the job. 

Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, left, 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, Friday, June 10, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

According to reports, further conversations with the Hornets’ organization led Atkinson to believe that both professionally and personally it would be best to remain with the Warriors.

Atkinson’s Coaching History

Atkinson was 118-190 in three seasons as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, leading the rebuilding squad to the playoffs in 2018. He was fired during the 2019 season that saw star players, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving miss time due to injuries.

Over the last two years, Atkinson has been an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. 

Golden State retains one of the team’s top coaches with this move following the loss of Mike Brown, who accepted the head coaching position with the Sacramento Kings. 

For the Hornets, Atkinson was among three finalists for the job along with Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts. The Warriors assistant was the only person to meet with owner, Michael Jordan as part of the final process. 

Charlotte has missed the playoffs for six consecutive seasons, the longest drought in franchise history. The Hornets have made the NBA’s Play-In Tournament but have lost both games the last two seasons.

Following a 43-39 season, previous head coach James Borrego was fired and the search began with general manager Mitch Kupchak leading the charge. 

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