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The Charlotte Hornets closed the book on head coach James Borrego following the 2021-2022 NBA season. After the Hornets failed to notch a spot in the playoffs through the NBA’s Play-In Tournament, which marked the fifth-straight season Charlotte missed the postseason under Borrego’s management.

The Hornets considered many candidates over the span of a couple of months. Over the last couple of weeks, Charlotte narrowed down their search to Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, and former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni.

Charlotte intended to hire Atkinson, who reportedly agreed to a four-year deal to take over for Borrego. However, Atkinson had a change of heart following the Warriors’ 2022 NBA Finals win. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Atkinson will remain with the Warriors and will take over as Steve Kerr’s top assistant.

Meanwhile, the Hornets are once again left searching for their next coach. It’s assumed that Stotts and D’Antoni will re-enter as candidates to replace Atkinson, but so far, there haven’t been any prospects revealed as Charlotte opens up its search once again.

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Could the Sixers Have a Candidate?

Doc Rivers has several notable assistants on his Philadelphia 76ers staff, including Dave Joerger, Sam Cassell, and Dan Burke. Although Burke and Joerger haven’t received any interest this offseason, Cassell has emerged as a candidate for the Utah Jazz, who lost Quin Snyder as he stepped down following the Jazz’s 2022 playoff run.

Now that Cassell is becoming a possible head coach candidate once again, the Hornets could consider the former player who has coached since 2009. However, Charlotte’s new batch of candidates is still not revealed after Atkinson’s shocking decision. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.

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