Bucks reportedly given permission to speak with Golden State’s Kenny Atkinson for HC vacancy

The first candidates for Milwaukee’s coaching vacancy are now public.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday afternoon that the Bucks were granted permission to speak with Golden State associate head coach Kenny Atkinson.

The 55-year-old started his coaching career as an assistant with the New York Knicks in 2008. Four years later he was hired by former Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta, where he spent another four seasons. He then got a chance to lead his own team in Brooklyn, where he went 118-190 (.383), leading the Nets to the playoffs in his third season before being fired in 2020. Atkinson joined the LA Clippers as an assistant in 2021 before landing with the Warriors, where he was part of a championship-winning team in 2022.

The other former head coach mentioned in the report, James Borrego, led Charlotte for five seasons before being fired at the end of the 2022 season. He went 148-183 (.447) and missed the playoffs every year, though his final season was his best as the Hornets went 43-39.

Lee, meanwhile, was an assistant under Budenholzer in Atlanta and Milwaukee the last nine seasons. He was made Milwaukee’s associate head coach last offseason as other teams started circling him for a potential head coaching position.

The Bucks fired Budenholzer after the team flamed out in the first round of the playoffs, losing 4-1 to the Miami Heat as the No. 1 seed.