5 Reasons the Lakers should make a run at Kenny Atkinson for head coach

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly considering hitting the refresh button on the coaching search. If true, Kenny Atkinson should be added to the list.
2022 NBA Finals - Game Six
2022 NBA Finals - Game Six / Elsa/GettyImages
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With Dan Hurley returning to the University of Connecticut, the Los Angeles Lakers are reevaluating their options. Jovan Buha of The Athletic has heard a variety of rumors pertaining to what the organization could do next, with one option being a complete reset on the candidate pool.

In the event that the Lakers decide to start from scratch and evaluate new options, Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson should be added to the list.

Atkinson, 57, had a 14-year playing career across multiple leagues and has since been a mainstay on NBA coaching staffs. His success has earned widespread acclaim, thus resulting in his status as a finalist in the search for the next head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Before the Cavaliers can hire Atkinson, however, it would behoove the Lakers to explore the possibility of adding one of the best possible candidates to their own search for a head coach.

There may not be a better fit on the market for what the Lakers need.

5. Coaching experience—and consistent success

Kenny Atkinson has been coaching basketball since 2004. He's spent the last 16 years as a coach in the NBA, including his time as the sideline leader for the Brooklyn Nets and his current three-year stint with Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors.

If the Lakers are looking to hire a candidate who knows what it takes to thrive as a coach in the NBA, few are as qualified as Atkinson.

Atkinson became an assistant coach with the New York Knicks in 2008-09, helping the team end a seven-year postseason drought in 2010-11. He joined the Atlanta Hawks in 2012-13, ultimately assisting the team in winning a franchise record 60 games in 2014-15.

Atlanta also reached the Eastern Conference Finals that season, marking its deepest postseason run since 1970.

Atkinson became head coach of the Nets in 2016 and helped the team defy the odds by making the Playoffs in 2018-19. It marked the end of a four-year postseason drought and earned Atkinson critical acclaim.

Atkinson has been an assistant coach with the Warriors since 2021-22, helping the team win a championship in his first season on the staff.