NBA rumors: Kenny Atkinson among top three Bucks coach candidates

Report: Dubs' Atkinson among top three Bucks coach candidates originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Kenny Atkinson reportedly is nearing a chance to become an NBA head coach again.

The Warriors assistant is one of three finalists in the Milwaukee Bucks’ head coaching search, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday, citing sources. Former Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse and Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin also are in the running.

Wojnarowski reports that the Bucks plan to meet with all three candidates this week.

Atkinson already has three-plus years of head coaching experience under his belt. He landed the role with the Brooklyn Nets ahead of the 2016-17 NBA season and held it until he was fired in March 2020. He went 118-190 and made one playoff appearance with the Nets, who then made Jacque Vaughn the interim head coach for the rest of the 2019-20 season before appointing Steve Nash to the permanent role the following offseason.

Atkinson also has spent 10 years as an assistant coach. He was with the New York Knicks from 2008 to 2012 before joining the Atlanta Hawks’ staff for three years. After being fired by the Nets, he spent one year as an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers before sitting beside Warriors coach Steve Kerr each of the past two seasons.

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The Bucks were upset in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs by the eighth-seeded Miami Heat before moving on from coach Mike Budenholzer, who had been with the franchise since 2018 and won the NBA Finals in 2021.

Atkinson last offseason agreed to become the Charlotte Hornets' new coach, but he ultimately turned down the offer to remain with the Warriors. 

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