The Bucks are formulating a list of additional candidates and interviews that is also expected to include current Bucks associate head coach Charles Lee and former Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego, sources said.
The Bucks are searching to replace Mike Budenholzer, who was fired after the team was upset in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs as the No. 1 seed. Budenholzer won the 2021 NBA championship and left with nearly a .700 regular season winning percentage.
Atkinson accepted the Hornets’ head-coaching job last spring before changing his mind and remaining with the Warriors for a second season. He spent a year on the LA Clippers‘ coaching staff after parting ways with the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019-20 season. Atkinson was 118-190 in three-plus years with the Nets, including going 42-40 and reaching the playoffs in the 2018-19 season.
Borrego was 138-163 over his four seasons with Charlotte — the last three of which came as the Hornets were rebuilding in the wake of franchise player Kemba Walker’s departure for Boston in free agency in 2019.
Since the 2019-20 season, Borrego oversaw 10-win improvements for the Hornets in each season. Charlotte went from 23-42 in 2019-20 to 33-39 in 2020-21 to 43-39 in 2021-2022. Borrego reached the NBA play-in tournament in each of his final seasons with the Hornets.
Lee is one of three finalists for the Detroit Pistons‘ head-coaching opening, and he also interviewed for the vacant job in Toronto, sources said.
Lee elevated to the top assistant job with the Bucks after Darvin Ham’s departure to the Lakers last summer. He spent five years on Budenholzer’s staff after joining him from the Atlanta Hawks.
Sources – Bucks get OK to interview Warriors’ Kenny Atkinson