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Cavaliers hire Kenny Atkinson as next head coach

Kenny Atkinson Cavaliers
New Cavaliers head man Kenny Atkinson has spent the last four seasons as an assistant. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

Cavaliers hire Kenny Atkinson as next head coach

The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired former Brooklyn Nets head coach and current Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson as the team’s next head coach, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report Monday.

At the time of this publishing, there hasn’t been a full disclosure on the years and salary for his deal.

Atkinson, 57, spent the last three seasons as an assistant under Steve Kerr in Golden State after one season under Tyronn Lue in Los Angeles with the Clippers. He was hired by the Charlotte Hornets for their head coaching job ahead of the 2022-23 season before backing out shortly thereafter.

Rest assured, the Cavaliers are in a much better situation than the aforementioned Hornets, who have gone a combined 48-116 (.293) over the last two seasons. Atkinson beats out New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego, the former Hornets head man for four seasons (2018-22), who was viewed as a frontrunner a week ago.

This is a very good hire for Cleveland. For one, Atkinson previously had ties with Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert, who he coached in Brooklyn–helping them blossom into good role players. Not to mention, he also helped develop Brook Lopez, Spencer Dinwiddie and Al Horford.

Atkinson is a very good player development mind who spent four combined seasons under two other great development minds in Lue and Kerr. Whether Cleveland decides to keep Allen and/or Darius Garland alongside Donovan Mitchell (who’s likely getting his extension), he will implement a spaced offense with a sound defensive structure.


This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.

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