Kenny Atkinson Emerging as Front-runner for Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coaching Job

Kenny Atkinson was one of the first names to emerge when the Cleveland Cavaliers fired JB Bickerstaff, and as the days go by his candidacy for the Cavaliers bench seems to be gaining strength. According to Jason Lloyd, a journalist from The Athleticthe Warriors assistant is currently considered the favorite to take the position, which would mark his return to the position of head coach since his departure from the Nets in 2020.

However, Atkinson is by no means done. Lloyd also comments that another candidate to follow closely is Johnie Bryant, who has been working as an assistant since 2014 and could finally make the leap to managing a team. Bryant is currently an assistant for the New York Knicks, although in the past he also worked for the Jazz, where he coincided with Donovan Mitchell.

He is not, however, the only one to know several members of the current Cavs roster. Without going any further, Atkinson himself trained Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert during his time with the Nets, being one of the great people responsible for their development as players. In fact, we can consider that this facet, helping young people grow, was the one in which the coach shone the most in Brooklyn, although in the Cavaliers who are already eager to look upwards, he would start with more ambitious objectives.

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In his three and a half seasons in the New York franchise, Kenny had a record of 118-190, numbers that don’t sound too good but gain positions in context. And Atkinson took a rather hopeless team and helped give it a certain structure and begin to climb from the bottom, even becoming the revelation of the 18-19 season by sneaking into the playoffs. Can he also get Cleveland to make a jump if he reaches the bench?

Gilbert, more involved

Finally, Lloyd adds that Dan Gilbert, owner of the franchise, is getting much more involved in the selection of the new coach than expected. Although he has been quite involved in other processes, he remained quite on the sidelines during the hiring of Bickerstaff, but it seems that this time he has taken control of the situation again.

(Cover photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

2024-05-27 08:00:00
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