Report: Warriors' Atkinson candidate for Bucks job after Griffin fired originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
An Eastern Conference top dog is on the hunt for their next head coach, and they might be looking the Warriors' way to fill the vacancy.
After the Milwaukee Bucks fired Adrian Griffin on Tuesday after just 43 games with the organization, Golden State assistant coach Kenny Atkinson could be a candidate for the job, The Athletic's Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Eric Nehm reported.
Atkinson was a runner-up for the Bucks job this season, as he reportedly was among the three finalists for the gig, along with Griffin and former Toronto Raptors-turned-Philadelphia 76ers coach Nick Nurse.
The Bucks ultimately decided to hire Griffin, who since has led the team to a 30-13 record and second place in the East.
Atkinson began his NBA coaching career in 2008 with the New York Knicks as an assistant. In 2016, he was hired as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, where he spent the next four seasons and posted a 118-190 record. In 2021, he joined Golden State and won a championship with the team in the 2022 NBA Finals.
While the NBA world scratches its head trying to figure out Griffin's sudden firing, the Bucks reportedly are trying to move fast to fill the void. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday afternoon that Milwaukee is "planning to quickly pursue a small pool of accomplished and available veteran head coaches," with Doc Rivers at the top of that list.
Charania, Amick and Nehm also cited league sources in reporting that Rivers, who joined ESPN as an analyst this season after getting fired by the 76ers last May, began to serve as an informal consultant to Griffin and, one month later, Rivers now is the "serious leader" for the position.
If the team can't secure Rivers as their next head coach, the Warriors might be receiving a call soon.