SAN FRANCISCO — There was some shocking news about Kenny Atkinson in the champagne-soaked hours between the Warriors’ title win in Boston and their championship parade through the streets of this city last week.
During the finals, Atkinson reportedly agreed to become the new head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. Soon after the Warriors won their fourth title in eight years, Atkinson reversed course. He had been staying at Golden State as an assistant coach on Steve Kerr’s staff, slipping to fill the seat of associate head coach Mike Brown after leaving the Kings as coach.
Why did Atkinson, the former head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, decide to stay? Kerr shared his thoughts,
“We’re in a great place, we have great players, we live in a beautiful part of the country, Kenny has two kids, teenagers who really wanted to be, and I think it’s really hard trying to get a job.” The job is in the middle of the finals without really getting a chance to rest,” Kerr said at the championship parade at NBC Sports Bay Area.
“I’m glad Kenny trusts his gut, and hope Charlotte ends up with a great coach and everyone moves on. We’re lucky to have her back, especially to lose Mike Brown.” I need Kenny, and I’m thrilled he’s back.
In addition, the report prompt Hornet and Atkinson reach an impasse when they bring in their assistant’s staff. Nonetheless, the Warriors are delighted to have Atkinson back as a top assistant. Kerr said he needed Atkinson a conduit between Golden State’s growing analytics division and Kerr himself.
“He’s very analytically driven, and I think with analytics in particular is how you apply it on the court, and you have to figure out how to process the information and win a basketball game.” How can it be translated for the U.S.,” Kerr said at Wednesday’s pre-draft press conference.
“It’s not an easy thing to do. There are a lot of numbers, and Kenny is one of those rare coaches who has really great experience with the numbers and how those numbers translate.”
Atkinson has also been involved in helping develop rookie Jonathan Kuminga, Kerr said. But a shift toward the analytics-based coaching-driven elements of the Warriors’ regular-season run.
Andrew Wiggins’ embrace of the catch-and-shoot offense, for example, was flooded with data showing that he was most effective at picking up more 3-pointers than he had last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. With his strong defense, Wiggins shot nearly 40% of the 3 this season, became an All-Star starter and made the appearance of a lifetime in the playoffs—officially the No. 1 pick freed from the “bust” label. Gone.
The Warriors’ coaching staff consists of a handful of analytics-focused minds like Jama Mahallela, who worked closely with Wiggins. Atkinson, like Mahela, joined the Warriors earlier this season – keeping them both would help the Warriors and Kerr tilt the numbers higher.
General Manager Bob Myers said a coaching staff shift gave the Warriors “a different way of looking at things” this year.
“We had a very homogenous group and they stayed together for a long time, new voices, someone who had been in multiple organizations. I’ve only ever worked here, so Steve has too,” Myers said. “The people we brought in have worked elsewhere. It’s really valuable to people like us who just saw That’s what it (the organization) looks like.”
Atkinson coached the Nets in 2019 to their first playoff berth since 2015 and left midseason after joining the outfit of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. After a year with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Warriors brought him in in search of the stronger outside perspective a former head coach could provide.
Myers said, “We don’t do everything perfectly, so it’s always good to find someone like Kenny, who was a head coach but coached a lot of other places under a few good coaches and took things apart.” Looked like that.” “I think we realized that when we hired him last year, we needed some new voices, and Kenny isn’t reticent, so he’ll say what’s on his mind, and we value him.” “