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Kenny Atkinson Jilts Hornets, Leaving Door Open for Stotts

In an ultra-rare reversal, Charlotte gets left in the lurch.

2022 NBA Finals - Game Six Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets reportedly reached a four-year agreement with Kenny Atkinson to make him their next head coach last week, but now the Golden State assistant is rejecting the offer.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Atkinson will remain with the Warriors and — with Mike Brown leaving to coach Sacramento — become top assistant for the 2022 NBA champs.

This news reopens the door for former Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts to become the next head coach in Charlotte. Stotts and longtime NBA coach Mike D’Antoni were the other two finalists for the position before Charlotte chose Atkinson.

Stotts has also been linked as a candidate to the Utah Jazz head coaching vacancy. Former Jazz head coach Quin Snyder stepped down from the position in early June.

Stotts, 64, coached Portland for nine seasons from 2012-2021, amassing a 402-318 record and eight consecutive playoff appearances. Before his tenure in Portland, Stotts served as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks from 2002-2004 and was the Milwaukee Bucks head coach from 2005-2007.

He has not held another NBA coaching job since Portland dismissed him following a 42-30 record and first round playoff exit during the 2020-2021 season.