Kenny Atkinson is set to join the Hawks as an assistant coach on Larry Drew’s staff.
Atkinson, a Knicks player development coach since the 2008-09 season, gained notice when former Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin credited Atkinson with aiding his development prior to Lin becoming a media sensation last season. The Daily News reported that Knicks boss James Dolan had wanted Atkinson fired because he thought Atkinson was leaking info to media and that the Knicks also wouldn’t allow Atkinson to leave for a position on Portland’s staff two years ago
It’s not immediately clear what Atkinson’s role would be with the Hawks but he apparently will replace one of the four holdover assistants on Drew’s staff: Lester Conner, Bob Bender, Kenny Gattison and Tyrone Hill. Nick Van Exel has been the team’s player development instructor for the past two seasons.
New Hawks GM Danny Ferry said one of his goals is to to improve the organization’s player development program.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
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