Former general manager Rick Sund has been named Senior Adviser, Basketball Operations. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Atlanta Hawks: Rick Sund, Bob Weiss, and Kenny Atkinson assigned new Roles

The Atlanta Hawks officially announced new Front Office positions for Kenny Atkinson, Bob Weiss, and Rick Sund on Tuesday.

Sund, the former general manager of the Hawks, has been named Senior Advisor, Basketball Operations.

“Rick has been helpful during the changes and I think it’s a good situation to still have him available as a sounding board,” said new GM Danny Ferry.

Sund has over 37 years of NBA experience, including serving as Atlanta’s Executive Vice President/GM for the past four years. The Hawks posted a 184-128 record under his leadership, reached the playoffs in each of his four seasons, and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals three times. He’s also spent time as an executive with the Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, and Seattle Supersonics.

Kenny Atkinson has been named Assistant Coach/Player Development, and Bob Weiss as Assistant Coach/Consultant. Atkinson and Weiss will join Assistant Coaches Lester Conner and Bob Bender, as well as Player Development Instructor Nick Van Exel on the Hawks’ bench.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, bench coaches Kenny Gattison and Tyrone Hill have not been offered positions with the coaching staff and “will not return” next season. In addition, Jeff Watkinson was hired to replace Chattin Hill as Atlanta’s Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Atkinson is a former Knicks assistant who earned notice when Jeremy Lin credited him with helping his development.

In his collegiate days, Atkinson was a standout player at the University of Richmond, and was even an All-CAA First Team selection as a junior and senior (1989-90). In the 1988 NCAA Tournament he helped the Spiders to a Sweet 16 appearance and later went on to play professionally in France, Germany, and Spain from 1991-2004.

After his playing days were over, Atkinson began his career in management and spent three years as Director of Player Development/Assistant Coach for Paris Basket Racing Club in France (2004-06). In the summer of 2006 he served as Director of Player Development/Assistant Coach for the Republic of Georgia’s national team. He was also a Reebok EuroCamp Coach in Treviso, Italy during the summers of 2005-through-2010.

“Kenny has proven to be very successful in developing young players in this league, and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious,” Hawks head coach Larry Drew said in a statement released by the team. “We’re excited to add another dedicated and hard-working coach and teacher.”

Atkinson spent the last four years as an assistant with the Knicks. Before that, he spent the 2007-08 season serving as the Director of Player Development for the Houston Rockets.

Weiss used to be the head coach for the Hawks from 1990-93. He also served head coaching stints with the San Antonio Spurs (1986-88), Los Angeles Clippers (1993-94) and Seattle Supersonics (2005-06). In 2008, Weiss coached Shanxi Zhongyu in the Chinese Basketball Association.

“He will be sitting behind the bench, looking at things and giving me ideas and giving me opinions about different things with the team as a whole,” Drew told the AJC. “I’ve always admired him from afar–didn’t know him personally–but watched from afar, even he when played. He has a wealth of knowledge.”

Weiss also bounced around in his playing days after being selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 1965 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played 12 collective seasons (783 regular-season games) for the Sixers, Seattle, Milwaukee, Chicago, Buffalo and Washington, averaging 7.6 points per game.

With the recent roster overhaul of the Hawks this offseason, the organization is going to focus on player development and that’s why there are a bunch of changes to the coaching staff.

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