Mike D’Antoni, Kenny Atkinson To Meet With Hornets Owner Michael Jordan

Mike D’Antoni and Kenny Atkinson are scheduled to meet with Hornets owner Michael Jordan this week as the franchise nears a decision on its next coach, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.Kenny Atkinson

D’Antoni and Atkinson are viewed as the two finalists to replace James Borrego, fired after three seasons at the end of the year. Jordan had been vacationing unable to meet with the candidates earlier.

D’Antoni last served as head coach of the Rockets from 2016-20. Since then he has spent one season as an assistant with Steve Nash and the Nets, as well as this past season as a coaching advisor to Willie Green and the Pelicans.

D’Antoni, 71, has also coached the Lakers, Knicks, Nuggets and the Nash-led Suns of the “Seven Seconds or Less” era. Overall, his teams are 672-527 in 16 years.

Meanwhile, Atkinson is currently an assistant with Steve Kerr and the Warriors. He was the head coach of the Nets from 2017-20, compiling a 118-190 record. Brooklyn fired him shortly before the league shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

Atkinson has also been an assistant with the Hawks, Nets and Clippers. Both he and D’Antoni have been labeled the “frontrunner” for the Hornets’ vacancy at different times. Charlotte very well could make a decision by week’s end.

The Hornets finished this past season with a record of 43-39 and feature the likes of LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges. They will enter next season with expectations of making the playoffs.

Charlotte last made the playoffs in  the 2015-16 and has not advanced beyond the first round since the 2001-02 season, when Paul Silas was the coach.

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