Mike Budenholzer, probably the best NBA manager, would like to see his former assistant, Kenny Atkinson, take on a Knicks job he once pursued in 2018.
Preparing for the NBA restart as leader of the league’s Bucks (53-12), Budenholzer has stopped working on his Phoenix home to provide compelling support from Atkinson, his former Hawks’ assistant.
Atkinson, who had been axed by the nets in March after changing their franchise, should receive an interview with the Knicks. Some believe that Huntington’s pride, Long Island, could fit better than Tom Thibodeau. The Knicks are still considering bringing back temporary coach Mike Miller.
“I’d like to see him as a Knicks manager,” Budenholzer told The Post. “It is a great opportunity. He understands that he will have a lot of opportunities and situations. He had a fantastic life with a big family. It would be a ride home for him. There’s nothing like coaching the team you grew up with, worked with. And with what they are trying to do and where they are “.
The Bulls also reportedly have Atkinson on their radar. Like the Knicks, Chicago has seen some of its young players stagnate.
What makes Atkinson so good at making players like Nets Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and Caris Levert take giant leaps?
“As a PD manager, I think he is athletic and takes care of it,” said Budenholzer. “It puts in his heart and soul and you can simply feel it. See how much he cares that you are improving and how much he cares about the concept of player development and improvement. It is so real. It is quite impressive, especially when he is a coach. Including myself, you move away from that. As a Brooklyn head coach, it hurts in the calf, in the calf. It has a bit of an advantage – from Long Island. He is willing to practice with them, mix it and they respect it. “
Budenholzer, incredibly passed by the Knicks for David Fizdale, said on Thursday that he learned it from Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. And he can’t understand that Atkinson has to face those charges.
“It’s totally unfair,” said Budenholzer. “For culture and responsibility, you have to be willing to train the best player. It’s really important. We were lucky when we were together and we had great “best players” – a high-level character who wanted to be trained. It was a perfect setting for [Atkinson] – to see it. Kenny has the ability to train all players, including the stars and the best players in the league. “