Thursday, May 26, 2022

Lakers granted permission to interview Kenny Atkinson

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The Lakers could be continuing the raid on Warriors assistant coaches.

Golden State has granted assistant Kenny Atkinson permission to interview with the Lakers for their head-coaching vacancy, according to ESPN.

Another Warriors assistant, Mike Brown, has reportedly already agreed to become the Kings ‘next head coach once the Warriors’ season concludes.

The 54-year-old Atkinson joined head coach Steve Kerr’s bench this season as one of the league’s highest-paid assistants. He spent the 2020-21 season under Ty Lue with the Clippers before joining the Warriors, and now could be primed for another West Coast move.

The former Nets head coach is also in consideration for the Hornets’ vacancy, according to the report, and has already interviewed with Charlotte.

Kenny Atkinson coached the Nets for three-plus seasons.
Kenny Atkinson (left) speaks with Steve Kerr (right).
Kenny Atkinson (left) speaks with Steve Kerr (right).

The Lakers fired Frank Vogel after a heavily disappointing season, in which they missed out on the playoffs with a 33-49 record. The 48-year-old Vogel finished with a 127-98 record with the Lakers, notably leading the team to the 2019-20 championship.

In three-plus seasons in Brooklyn, Atkinson brought the Nets from a rebuilding team to the playoffs, accumulating a 118-190 overall record. In 2018-19 – his final full season in charge – The Nets made the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in the East, but lost to the 76ers in the first round. He was fired three-quarters of the way through the next season.

Known for his strong player-development, Atkinson is credited for helping spark the careers of D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Caris Levert and Jarrett Allen.

Atkinson becomes the fifth reported candidate to interview with the Lakers, joining Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts, Adrian Griffin and Mark Jackson.

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