Atkinson turns down Hornets job, will stay Warriors assistant

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It seemed that Kenny Atkinson was going to leave the Warriors for a head coaching job with the Charlotte Hornets.

But that was before the Warriors won their fourth title in eight years.

Now, according to reports, Atkinson has decided to stick around as Steve Kerr’s top assistant, turning back an offer to coach Michael Jordan’s Hornets.

“That means a lot,” Warriors wing Andrew Wiggins said upon hearing the news. “He gave up a head coaching job to come back and be part of this thing we got here, it’s amazing. It shows that what we got here is a bunch of people that want to win. We’re all on the same page and we’re looking forward to the future.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that “further conversations” were a factor in Atkinson’s decision to stay with Golden State — which, it’s reasonable to assume, meant the Warriors and owner Joe Lacob were ready to financially incentivize Atkinson to remain.

But in a recent interview with Heavy.com, Atkinson seemed to indicate he really appreciated his role with Golden State – and the life experience out West.

“It’s a great experience being considered (for head coaching jobs), but, man, I’m in such a great place — not only from basketball, but from a living in California, the Bay Area, the whole thing. Kids love the school, wife loves it,” Atkinson told Heavy.com. “So it almost takes the pressure off when you’re really in a good situation. I mean, I’m still competitive, and I try to do my best in interviewing and everything, but also in the back of my mind I’m saying, like, man, if I don’t get another shot, I’m in a great, great situation.”





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