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June 28, 2022
Basketball

Kenny Atkinson leaves Michael Jordan, Hornets at altar to stay with Golden State

Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson bailing on Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets speaks volumes about their basketball organization.

Days after the Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA Finals, assistant coach Kenny Atkinson decided to leave Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets at the altar in embarrassing fashion.

This would have been Atkinson’s second stab at being an NBA head coach, having previously led the Brooklyn Nets. He was offered the Hornets job, but decided to back out at the last minute, believing staying put in San Francisco was a better solution for him long-term. Atkinson will lead an NBA team again one day soon, but for now, he probably made an incredibly wise decision here.

Charlotte has to replace James Borrego, who could not get out of the play-in tournament twice.

ESPN Sources: Kenny Atkinson has decided he won’t become the Charlotte Hornets’ head coach and will remain with Golden State as top assistant. After being offered job during the NBA Finals, further conversations led Atkinson to believe it would be best to remain with Warriors.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2022

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski followed up his reporting by saying the two other finalists for the job were noted retread candidates Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts. Good luck with that, Charlotte…

Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts were the other two finalists for the job, sources said. Charlotte will have to restart process now. https://t.co/X5yMR8fybK

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2022

Kenny Atkinson decided working for Michael Jordan was not his cup of tea

While at least two teams said no to Jordan before, only one can justify their claims from way back in 1984. Hakeem Olajuwon may have been “The Dream” for the Houston Rockets, but the Portland Trail Blazers continued to blaze their trail of picking one injury-prone college star after another by taking Sam Bowie over The GOAT. Let’s hope Jordan does not curse Atkinson for this…

At this time, the only other head-coaching vacancy in the association is the one over in Salt Lake. Quin Snyder decided he had enough of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell not getting along as the Utah Jazz’s two star players. Snyder might be a candidate to come to Charlotte, but he may decide to spend a year away from the NBA to regroup and get the best available job in the next offseason cycle.

It should be noted that both Mike Budenholzer disciples could potentially be in play for the Atlanta Hawks opening if the Nate McMillan era has run its course. That would be quite the turn of events if Atkinson told Jordan no, only to agree to come back to Atlanta and coach a rival team going forward. Of course, McMillan did lead Atlanta to the Eastern Conference Finals only two years ago.

For now, Hornets fans must prepare for guys like D’Antoni and Stotts to call the shots in Charlotte.

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