NBA world reacts to Kenny Atkinson pulling out as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets

·2 min read
Mary Schwalm/AP

The social media world reacted with shock after Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson told the Charlotte Hornets that he would not become the team’s head coach as was previously reported.

Atkinson will remain with the Warriors as an assistant as they celebrate the 2022 NBA Finals victory and look to defend their title.

Monte Poole, NBC Sports Bay Area columnist, tweeted that Atkinson spent the week dealing with “mixed emotions about leaving the Warriors” for Charlotte. He said that Atkinson “listened to his heart. And his family.”

The decision prompted scorn from Hornets fans, including James Plowright, the site content manager for Sports Illustrated’s FanNation Hornets’ site. He called Atkinson’s decision “unprofessional” and said he embarrassed the Hornets.

“No problem with him not accepting the job but do it from the off, left Charlotte in the most difficult of positions now. Expect [Mike] D’Antoni to be named shortly,” he said.

Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein also linked Charlotte and D’Antoni, calling him the team’s “previous runner-up” in the coaching search.

Dieter Kurtenbach, sports columnist for the Bay Area News Group, said that “there’s no luxury tax on assistant coaches” before tweeting in a reply that “Kenny agreed to take the Hornets job. Then they started talking scratch.”

The Athletic’s senior NBA columnist and former Memphis Grizzlies VP John Hollinger wondered if the move could indicate a future Warriors head coaching position for Atkinson after current head coach Steve Kerr retired.