Warriors swoop in on important Clippers assistant coach

Wizards coaching candidate Kenny Atkinson. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Wizards coaching candidate Kenny Atkinson. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Golden State Warriors have bolstered their coaching staff with the hiring of Kenny Atkinson as one of their lead assistants.

The Golden State Warriors are approaching a deal with former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, according to The Athletic. This move is one of the multiple moves that have been made within the team’s coaching staff this season. He will join current assistant Mike Brown as a lead assistant, giving the Warriors two assistants with robust head coaching experience.

Atkinson was the coach of the Brooklyn Nets from 2016-20. His work with that team has made him a respected name within the coaching community. He helped turn D’Angelo Russell into an All-Star caliber player and reached the playoffs in his final two seasons.

After leaving Brooklyn, he gained some valuable coaching experience working in LA this season.

Kenny Atkinson leaves job at Clippers for a lead assistant position with the Warriors.

After Kenny Atkinson stepped down as head coach of the Nets in March 2020, he joined the LA Clippers as a lead assistant for the 2020-21 season. He worked alongside head coach Tyronn Lue and Chauncey Billups, the other lead assistant for L.A. this season. According to The Athletic, the 54-year-old coach was a candidate for multiple head-coaching vacancies in the NBA this offseason.

The Warriors have exceptional talent in James Wiseman, Kelly Oubre Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson and Jordan Poole. Given Atkinson’s work with a young Nets roster during his time in Brooklyn, it makes sense why the Warriors would look to bring him in. His defensive smarts and ability to connect with the younger players could benefit a Warriors team looking to return to championship form next season.

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