Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers

Warriors complete coaching coup, landing Kenny Atkinson as an assistant

Kenny Atkinson is leaving the LA Clippers after one season for the rival Golden State Warriors.

The LA Clippers are losing another well-regarded assistant coach off Tyronn Lue’s staff this offseason, as Kenny Atkinson is expected to leave for the Golden State Warriors to become Steve Kerr’s top assistant.

Atkinson had been the Brooklyn Nets head coach from 2016 to 2020 prior to his one-year run with the Clippers. He built his reputation as a player developer when he was on Mike Budenholzer’s Atlanta Hawks staff in the 2010s. Atkinson becomes the second former NBA head coach on Kerr’s Golden State bench, joining former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown.

Atkinson joins Chauncey Billups as the second big name to leave Lue’s Clippers coaching staff.

Kenny Atkinson leaves LA Clippers for Golden State Warriors coaching staff

This is a huge get for the Warriors by adding Atkinson from a division rival. Not only does his Los Angeles departure make the Clippers worse, but his best coaching skill set will help elevate Golden State’s floor. By developing some of the younger players on the roster a bit faster, it will help the Warriors field a contending team for maybe one last title run or two with this current core intact.

Kerr specializes in coaching up offense and handling personalities. Brown cut his teeth on the defensive end of the floor. By adding Atkinson’s keen eye for player development, the Warriors should be back in the NBA Playoffs next year after missing out on the last two. While the Clippers are still an excellent team, losing another top assistant really places the coaching burden on Lue.

Golden State made a fantastic hire by prying Atkinson away from a divisional foe this offseason.

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