The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Kenny Atkinson to be their next head coach

Kenny Atkinson pic
Kenny Atkinson pic

After five seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, J.B. Bickerstaff was fired in March. The team wanted to head in a different direction. A top priority for the Cavs was keeping all-star SG Donovan Micthell happy. Bickerstaff’s relationship with the front office and some of his players started to tarnish. 

Cleveland couldn’t keep Bickertaff as head coach. It was in the best interest of their franchise as a whole to fire him. After meeting with candidates this offseason, the Cavaliers have made their decision. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson is being hired as Cleveland’s next head coach.

What coaching experience does Kenny Atkinson bring to the Cavs?

For the last three seasons, Kenny Atkinson has been the top assistant coach on Stever Kerr’s staff with the Warriors. Atkinson has 11 years of experience as an assistant coach in the NBA. Additionally, he was the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets for four seasons. During his time in Brooklyn, Atkinson went 118-190. The team made one playoff appearance in his four seasons. They lost in five games in the first round. In March 2020, Atkinson was fired by the Nets.

Before his time in Brooklyn, Atkinson was an assistant coach for seven seasons. Four years with the Knicks and three with the Hawks. After his tenure in Brooklyn, Atkinson was an assistant coach with the Clippers in 2020-21. For the last three seasons, Atkinson had been with the Warriors as an assistant coach. Now, he gets another chance to hear a head coach in the NBA. This time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team is excited about Atkinson’s development of young players.

Kenny Atkinson is known for being able to develop young players. General Manager Mike Gansey is eager to see what Atkison can do with big man Evan Mobley. The 23-year-old has a lot of raw potential that is still untapped. If Mobley can become a better shooter and work on his dribbling, he’d be a prototypical NBA center. Additionally, Kenny Atkinson has coached players on Clevleland’s roster. Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert were with Atkinson in Brooklyn before they were both traded to the Cavs. An exciting time for the team as they look to take another step forward in the East.

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