Woj: Lakers Granted Permission to Interview Warriors' Kenny Atkinson for HC Job

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 12, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 29:  Head coach Kenny Atkinson of the Brooklyn Nets reacts against the Miami Heat during the second half at American Airlines Arena on February 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Kenny Atkinson is trying to help lead the Golden State Warriors to a championship as an assistant coach this season, but he may be on the sidelines for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022-23.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Purple and Gold were given permission to interview Atkinson for the head coaching job after firing Frank Vogel at season's end.

The Lakers' job comes with plenty of intrigue.

On the one hand, Los Angeles is one of the league's storied franchises and will have the legendary LeBron James leading the way on the court. On the other hand, there may not be much job security since Vogel led the team to a title just two years ago in 2020 and is already out of a job after a 33-49 season.

The team requires plenty of changes, including potentially moving on from Russell Westbrook after his first season with the organization did not go according to script.

Atkinson could be in high demand, as Wojnarowski reported he already interviewed for the Charlotte Hornets job.

He was the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets from 2016-17 through 2019-20 and finished with a 118-190 record and one playoff appearance. He and the Nets decided to mutually part ways prior to the end of the 2019-20 season.

While it wasn't the best mark, he also was working under difficult circumstances, with D'Angelo Russell traded to the Golden State Warriors and then stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sidelined with injuries in the latter portion of his tenure.

That left the Nets relying largely on role players for stretches.

Atkinson also has experience as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers. Golden State went 53-29 this season, which was his first on the staff, and leads the Memphis Grizzlies 3-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals.