Former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson shocked the basketball world this week. After weeks of speculation, he accepted a deal to coach the Hornets before suddenly backing out at the last minute.
The Hornets will have to re-open their coaching search, and Atkinson will return to work as an assistant with Golden State. FOX reporter Will Kunkel explained why on Sunday:
I’m told Kenny Atkinson changed his mind for family reasons. Kenny had not signed the contract. They did agree to the terms of the contract, though. The Hornets were waiting a few days to get the signed copy.
Apparently, Atkinson changed his mind due to "family" reasons, which should make the Hornets feel a little better about the situation. They decided on Kenny earlier this month, after a meeting with Michael Jordan.
The Charlotte Hornets are closing in on Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson as the franchise’s next head coach.
Atkinson met with Charlotte Hornets officials — including owner Michael Jordan — on Wednesday and the franchise has decided on the former Nets coach as its new head coach, sources said. Atkinson brings development and defensive structure to a young and talented roster.
It sounds like Atkinson wanted to avoid moving his family around again, which is fair. He went from Brooklyn to San Francisco in just a few years and probably doesn't want to move back to the other side of the country again.
Where it leaves the Hornets, though, is still a mystery. Mike D'Antoni and Quin Snyder were major candidates before they settled on Atkinson, so those are the names that will probably surface again.
It will be interesting who they chose now, and if it pays off in the long run.