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Warriors’ Kenny Atkinson for Hornets coaching job amid NBA Finals

Mike Brown may not be the Warriors’ only assistant coach in his last run with Golden State.

Kenny Atkinson, who joined Steve Kerr’s coaching staff last offseason, is a finalist for the Charlotte Hornets head coach job, according to reports in recent days from The Athletic and ESPN.

He’s set for an interview with Hornets owner Michael Jordan this week between NBA Finals games, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. Former Suns and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is also said to have interviewed.

Atkinson, who turned 55 last week, rose to prominence in the NBA as a strong developmental spirit during his first stint as head coach, when he helped guide the Brooklyn Nets from the basement from the Eastern Conference in 2016 to a playoff appearance in 2019. the path to draft picks.

He was fired from the Nets job midway through the team’s first season with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as Brooklyn transformed from a developmental franchise into a star-run team.

Atkinson spent one season with the LA Clippers before Kerr brought him in last summer, looking for new prospects to advance the Warriors.

“I’ve always been an out-of-the-box thinker, I’m not afraid to commit,” Atkinson told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole earlier this season when describing his role and relationship with Kerr.

The Kings reportedly had an interest in Atkinson before signing Brown last month, and the Lakers also interviewed him before announcing former Milwaukee assistant Darvin Ham as their next coach last week.

DRAYMOND TOP 10 FINAL HELP

Draymond Green entered the top 10 all-time NBA Finals assists on Sunday night as he racked up seven in the Dubs’ Game 2 win.

“Not half bad for a guy who can’t pass,” Green tweeted Monday, prompting the question of who ever accused him of being unable to pass.

Well, Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma didn’t exactly make such a strong claim, but he did. imply Green’s passing wasn’t all it was supposed to be: “Listen bro, I can (pass the ball) to Steph too 🤣🤣🤣 congratulations!!!!”

BACK IN THE MIX

The Warriors became betting underdogs after the Celtics chased them off the field in the fourth quarter of Game 1, but are now back at par in the minds of bettors.

VegasInsider.com has the Warriors listed at -112 to win the series, and the Celtics are at -109, implying a very slight preference for Golden State, although bettors are paying a premium to put money on the one or the other team.

Steph Curry also regained the lead in the odds for Finals MVP. He is now the favorite at +135. Boston’s Jayson Tatum is now +180, with no other player doing better than +750 (Jaylen Brown). Tatum scored better in Game 2 (28 points on 8-of-19 shooting) but was a stunning minus-36 in 34 minutes.

TOO MUCH ON STEPH?

Stephen A. Smith said Monday morning on First Take that despite winning Game 2, he thinks the Warriors are asking too much of Steph Curry offensively.

“It can’t be Steph Curry and such a big gap between Curry and the rest of the guys on the offensive side to win this series,” Smith said after clarifying he picked the Warriors to win the Finals. . “I think you’ll need at least one other person to step in to win four games in this particular series.”

He pointed to Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson as players who could step in to help Curry. Poole flashed just before halftime on Sunday night and finished with 17 points after struggling mightily in Game 1. Thompson struggled to find a shooting rhythm in Game 2, shooting 4 of 19 in the victory.