Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson is one of four serious candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers head coaching gig.
Atkinson, along with Brett Brown (Spurs), Adrian Griffin (Bulls) and Jay Larranaga (Celtics), will be in New York this week to meet with 76ers ownership for a second round of interviews, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Woj notes that David Vanterpool (Trail Blazers), and Sixers holdover Michael Curry will also be considered for the job. Curry was an assistant on Philadelphia’s staff last season when former coach Doug Collins ran the show.
Atkinson, a native of Huntington, New York, spent last season with the Hawks as Assistant Coach of Player Development. Before coming to Atlanta, he spent four seasons in New York as a former Knicks assistant and earned notice when Jeremy Lin credited him with helping his development. Before that, he spent the 2007-08 season serving as the Director of Player Development for the Houston Rockets.
“Kenny has proven to be very successful in developing young players in this league, and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious,” former Hawks head coach Larry Drew said in a statement last year.
In his playing days, Atkinson was a standout at the University of Richmond. He helped the Spiders to a Sweet 16 appearance in the 1988 NCAA Tournament, and was even an All-CAA First Team selection as a junior and senior (1989-90). He later went on to play professionally in France, Germany, and Spain from 1991-2004.
Atkinson began his coaching career in 2004, spending three years as Director of Player Development/Assistant Coach for Paris Basket Racing Club in France. 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 2005-10, and was an assistant coach with the Ukraine national team at the European championships in 2011.