The Charlotte Hornets have begun interviewing candidates for the franchise’s head coaching opening, including the possibility of General Manager Mitch Kupchak reuniting with former Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, ESPN sources report.
D’Antoni was identified as a serious candidate early in the process, particularly because of the possibility of him being paired with a small guard post. lamillo ballThe sources said.
Sources said D’Antoni will meet with the Hornets along with several of the current assistant coaches whom Charlotte has requested permission to speak with, including Golden State’s Kenny Atkinson, Milwaukee’s Darvin Hamm and Dallas’s Shawn Sweeney. All three of these assistants are currently training in the playoffs.
Atkinson, 54, inherited the downtrodden Nets and led him to the Eastern Conference playoffs in his third season in 2018-2019. He built a solid reputation in player development as an assistant and head coach.
Hamm has been part of Mike Budenholzer’s staff with Milwaukee and Atlanta and has been in serious consideration for several head coaching jobs in recent years, including his current participation in the Lakers’ opening.
Sweeney is the Mavericks’ surprise defensive engineer this season, and has worked with head coach Jason Kidd with both the Nets and Bucks. This is his first interview for a head coach job.
D’Antoni is the two-time NBA Coach of the Year and holds a record 672-527 (.560) in nearly 1,200 games over two decades with Denver, Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. He spent last season as a coaching consultant for Willie Green and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Charlotte has fired coach James Borrego, who has led the Hornets to consecutive appearances in the championship and has made improvements with more than 10 wins in consecutive seasons on the job.
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