NBA rumors: Kenny Atkinson candidate for Hawks job after Nate McMillan firing
Report: Dubs' Atkinson, Kings' Fernandez candidates for Hawks job originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
There's a new head-coaching job open in the NBA, and a couple of assistants currently residing in California have been labeled as candidates to fill the position.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday, citing sources, that Kenny Atkinson is expected to be considered for the Atlanta Hawks' head-coaching job after the team officially fired Nate McMillan.
The Athletic's Shams Charania, citing sources, added Kings associate head coach Jordi Fernandez to the mix.
Sources: The Hawks' head coaching candidates are expected to include Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Spurs assistant Mitch Johnson, G League South Bay's Miles Simon and former Jazz coach Quin Snyder.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 21, 2023
McMillan, who took over the Hawks' job three years ago and led the Hawks to the 2021 Eastern Conference finals, was fired after a 29-30 start to the season.
Atkinson has held one head-coaching job in his career, manning the Brooklyn Nets bench from 2016 to 2020. He finished fifth in 2018-19 Coach of the Year voting after guiding the Nets to a 42-40 record, good for sixth in the East.
Atkinson initially agreed to become head coach of the Charlotte Hornets this past June, but ultimately decided to return to the Bay Area for another season under Steve Kerr. Heading out of the All-Star break, the Hornets are 17-43 and in second-to-last place in the East.
Fernandez was an assistant under Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone for six seasons before joining Mike Brown's staff as associate head coach this past summer.
The 40-year-old is in charge of the Kings' defensive schematics and served as interim head coach for two games in December when Brown was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocol. The Kings split those two games against the Nuggets, losing 113-106 on Dec. 27 and winning 127-126 the following night.
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For now, the Hawks will turn to Joe Prunty to serve as the interim head coach. Prunty served the same role in Milwaukee when the Bucks fired Jason Kidd in 2018, but was passed over for the full-time role for Mike Budenholzer.
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