There’s new name to throw in the ring for the coaching search of the Houston Rockets. According to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, earlier this week, the team interviewed Kenny Atkinson, who was the former Director of Player Development with the team in 2007-2008.
A former international pro player, Atkinson is also the former head coach for the Brooklyn Nets, where he served from 2016-2020, before resigning this past March. He led the Nets to just one playoff appearance in four seasons, and had just a 118-190 (.383) record with the team.
Atkinson fits with Houston’s already established analytics-based system, which would seem to make him a good fit on the surface if the team doesn’t want too much significant upheaval. Those of you looking for drastic changes from Mike D’Antoni would likely be disappointed in Atkinson hire.
It would also be a gamble bringing on a coach who hasn’t had much prior success to lead a squad still considering themselves major title contenders. He’s been to the playoffs just once, losing in the first round in 2019 to the Philadelphia 76ers.
While Brooklyn wasn’t exactly an easy situation, I’m not in favor of bringing in someone who basically failed elsewhere and hoping that doesn’t happen again in H-town. While I wouldn’t mind having Atkinson on staff as an assistant, I think there are better head coach candidates out there, and it would remain to be seen if he would be willing to accept a lesser position with the team.
What you do think about Atkinson, guys?