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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4. Success with D'Angelo Russell

There's a genuine possibility that D'Angelo Russell will accept his player option to return to the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2024-25 season. There's also a reality check waiting on the other side of that door if Russell leaves Los Angeles and the franchise tries to find an adequate replacement.

In the event that Russell returns to the Lakers next season, reuniting him with the coach who brought the absolute best out of him would be a wise decision.

After the public fallout with Los Angeles in 2017, Russell reinvented himself with Atkinson as his head coach. He made his lone All-Star Game appearance in 2018-19 and was established as the clear-cut best player on a Brooklyn Nets squad that reached the playoffs that same season.

Russell finished the 2018-19 campaign with then career-best averages of 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 2.9 three-point field goals made per game.

Russell was traded that summer in the deal that sent Kevin Durant to Brooklyn and ultimately led to Atkinson stepping down as the Nets prioritized a disastrous attempt at a Big Three. That Nets team was swept in three of its four playoff appearances, while Atkinson and Russell at least got a game from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Now in 2024, Atkinson and Russell could reunite with the opportunity to rediscover the success that put them both in the spotlight. This time, in Los Angeles.