Insider Report: Hornets Were "Shocked" Atkinson Pulled Out

Observers around the NBA were shocked when Golden State assistant coach Kenny Atkinson pulled out of his commitment to take the head coaching job with the Charlotte Hornets. So just imagine how the Hornets felt.

"The Hornets, from what I was told, were absolutely STUNNED by this about-face," said NBA Insider Marc Stein on his Spotify Live chat on Monday.

"This stuff just doesn't happen. The scuttle you hear around the league is that his family just loved being in the Bay Area. (Also) Maybe there were some concerns over how the Hornets were going to let him assemble his staff.

"But look," continued Stein, "you can come up with any kind of justification you want. There's simply going to be no good explanation for turning down a head coaching job... People around the league were shocked by this."

But Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is thrilled that he isn't losing Atkinson, and offered some pretty compelling reasons why his assistant is staying put.

"Kenny's got two kids [teenagers] who really wanted to stay... We're lucky to have him back," said Kerr. 

The 55-year-old Atkinson has held one head coaching position in his career, with the Brooklyn Nets from 2017-2020. 

Photo Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports