The Charlotte Hornets will hire Kenny Atkinson as their new head coach
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Charlotte Hornets have agreed to a four-year contract with Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson to be their new head coach.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium was the first to report that the parties were close to reaching an agreement.
On June 3, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported that Atkinson had “emerged as a front-runner” for the job and had a meeting with team officials, including chairman Michael Jordan.
In 2021-22, the Hornets finished 43-39. It was the team’s second consecutive 10-win improvement from the previous season.
This year, the Hornets lost their first play-in tournament game as the No. 10 seed for the second year in a row, extending its playoff drought to a sixth season.
Atkinson will take over a talented young roster led by point guard LaMelo Ball.
As an injury replacement, the 20-year-old was named to his first All-Star Game in 2021-22. He averaged 20.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 7.6 assists per game, rankg. Averaging 115.3 points per game in the regular season, the Hornets offense ranked fourth in the NBA.
Atkinson is taking over for James Borrego, who was fired after four seasons in April. The Hornets had a mediocre record of 138-163 with Borrego at the helm.
Atkinson worked as an assistant coach for the Warriors under Steve Kerr in 2021-22. He is best known for guiding the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs in his third season as head coach in 2018-19. Atkinson and the Nets mutually agreed to part ways in the middle of the following season, and he has a career record of 118-190 as a head coach.
Charlotte will also have the opportunity to add another talented player in the NBA draft on June 23, with the No. 13 pick coming near the end of the lottery.
With Atkinson leading the charge, the Hornets will continue to strive for the success that has eluded them for years.