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Reports: Kenny Atkinson has decided he won’t become Hornets head coach

“It’s not what you want. -Joe Girardi” -Mitch Kupchak.

2022 NBA Finals - Game Six Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson has decided he won’t become head coach of the Charlotte Hornets and will remain as Steve Kerr’s top assistant.

Following the Warriors’ 2022 NBA Finals victory over the Boston Celtics, it’s fair to assume Atkinson felt differently about leaving a championship team for a small-market fringe playoff contender. According to Wojnarowski, Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts were the other two finalists for the job originally and the organization will now restart the hiring process.

It appears that the Hornets front office has yet to be notified of Atkinson’s decision, but if it’s true they’ll undoubtedly find out soon.

This situation gets crazier with each piece of news that comes out. It’s really starting to seem like Atkinson won a championship and then immediately got cold feet.

And now, the cherry on top. I’m really curious to see what comes out about this in the coming days and weeks.

The NBA Draft is five days away and the Hornets are once again without a coach. Even if Mitch Kupchak and his front office extend the offer to D’Antoni or Stotts, they wouldn’t have time to iron out paperwork, fly to Charlotte, settle in and begin coaching prior to draft night anyway.

It’s hard to know exactly what influenced Atkinson to back out at this stage in the offseason, but the timing can be described in many ways; strange, puzzling, suspicious, embarrassing, and at least a little bit funny. At The Hive will have more updates on this once they become available, but until then, Charlotte is coach-less for the second time in one offseason.