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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Report: Hornets pivot to ex-Coach of the Year after losing Kenny Atkinson

Michael Jordan in a suit

Dec 21, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan unveils the new Charlotte Hornets logo at halftime during the game against the Utah Jazz at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets had narrowed their search down to two candidates before they offered their head coaching job to Kenny Atkinson. Now that Atkinson has had a change of heart, they have turned their attention toward the other finalist.

Mike D’Antoni was scheduled to meet with Hornets owner Michael Jordan on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Atkinson verbally agreed to a deal with the Hornets before changing his mind. The Golden State Warriors assistant reportedly had second thoughts after discussing the job with his family.

D’Antoni was once viewed as the front-runner for the Charlotte job. Some believe he could help turn LaMelo Ball into an elite point guard. D’Antoni is known in part for getting the most out of Steve Nash in Phoenix and James Harden in Houston. That is likely what makes him an appealing candidate to the Hornets.

One big knock on D’Antoni is that he is 71 and has never won an NBA title, though he has had a total of 10 playoff appearances and three conference finals berths. A former Hornets star may not be pleased if the Hornets hire D’Antoni.

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