Why Steve Kerr says he and the Warriors ‘need’ Kenny Atkinson

SAN FRANCISCO. In the champagne-soaked hours between the Warriors’ victory in Boston last week and their championship parade through the streets of that city, the stunning news about Kenny Atkinson emerged.

During the Finals, Atkinson reportedly agreed to become the new head coach of the Charlotte Hornets. Shortly after the Warriors won their fourth title in eight years, Atkinson reversed course. He remained with Golden State as an assistant coach on Steve Kerr’s staff, and after he left to coach the Kings, he rose to take over as assistant coach Mike Brown.

Why did Atkinson, the former head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, choose to stay? Kerr shared his thoughts,

“We are in a great place, we have great players, we live in a beautiful part of the country, Kenny has two kids, teenagers who really wanted to stay, and I think it’s very difficult to try to get a job. in the middle of the finals, unable to relax,” Kerr said at the championship parade at NBC Sports Bay Area.

“I’m glad that Kenny trusted his intuition and hopefully Charlotte will have a great coach and everyone will move forward. We are lucky to have him back, especially the loss of Mike Brown, I need Kenny and I’m very happy to have him back.”

In addition, reports indicate The Hornets and Atkinson hit a dead end by hiring his staff of assistants. However, the Warriors are pleased to have Atkinson back as a top assistant. Kerr said he “needed” Atkinson, the link between Golden State’s growing analytics department and Kerr himself.

“He’s very analytical and I think the thing about analytics is how you apply it on the court and you have to sort of figure out how to process information and how that can lead to winning basketball games,” Kerr said. on Wednesday. – project of the press conference.

“This is not an easy task. There are so many numbers out there and Kenny is one of the few coaches who has a really great feel for the numbers and how those numbers translate.”

According to Kerr, Atkinson also helped develop newcomer Jonathan Cuminga. But the transition to analytics-driven coaching propelled the Warriors into the regular season.

For example, Andrew Wiggins’ commitment to throw-throw-style offense was bolstered by data that showed he most effectively hit more 3-pointers than in past seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Combined with his strong defense, Wiggins has shot nearly 40% of his 3rd this season, became an All-Star and had his best playoff record – officially freed from the No. 1 “bust” label.

The Warriors coaching staff boasts a handful of analysts such as Jama Mahlalela, who worked closely with Wiggins. Atkinson, like Mahalela, joined the Warriors before the start of this season – keeping both of them will help the Warriors and Kerr better navigate the numbers.

General manager Bob Myers said the change in coaching staff has given the Warriors a “different perspective” this year.

“We had a fairly homogeneous group and they stayed together for quite some time, new voices, someone who worked in several organizations. I’ve only ever worked here, and so did Steve,” Myers said. “The people we brought in were working elsewhere. It’s really valuable for people like us who have just seen what this (organization) looks like.”

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