After over a month with a head coaching vacancy, the Cleveland Cavaliers finally decided on a candidate. On Friday, the Cavs made an official announcement about Kenny Atkinson’s hiring, just days after news outlets reported on the topic.

“We conducted a thorough and extensive search, and we are excited to welcome Kenny Atkinson to Northeast Ohio,” team president Koby Altman said, per’s Chris Fedor. “Kenny brings a wealth of experience, a proven track record of player development, and a relentless work ethic that aligns with the vision we have for this franchise. His innovative approach will instill a style of play and brand of basketball that will give us a chance for sustainable success and ultimately compete for championships. His familiarity coaching alongside some of the NBA’s best elevates this partnership, and we are excited that Kenny will guide our team and help us achieve our goals both on and off the court.”

The decision to hire Atkinson marks a new chapter for the Cavs, who decided to part ways with J.B. Bickerstaff after more than four seasons. With Bickerstaff, the team made the playoffs twice, but the furthest they reached was a second-round round appearance. While playoff berths are already considered commendable for some coaches (depending on the makeup of the roster), the Cavs have a competing lineup, and many expect them to go toe-to-toe with the league’s best.

Kenny Atkinson’s resume

The Cleveland front office surely hopes that Atkinson can take them a step forward, and his resume indicates that it might just be possible. Prior to getting hired, Atkinson spent three seasons as an assistant under Steve Kerr in Golden State. He helped Kerr coach the 2021-22 Warriors, who won the NBA championship that season.

Atkinson was also the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets from 2016 to 2020. The Nets had quiet campaigns in 2016 and 2017, but that all changed during Atkinson’s third season at the helm. During Brooklyn’s 2018-19 run, the team had a sudden turnaround, finishing with an above .500 record (42-40) after winning just 28 games the season prior. They made the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Under Atkinson, Nets star D’Angelo Russell had a year to remember, averaging 21.1 points and 7.0 assists while appearing in the 2019 All-Star game.

Kenny Atkinson will once again be the main man on the sidelines, and he’s more than eager to begin his Cavs tenure.

“I am thrilled and honored to be named head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers,” Atkinson said. “This is an incredible opportunity to lead an already talented young roster with an equally bright future. I’ve seen firsthand and had to prepare for this group as an opposing coach, and the task was not easy. I’m so excited to now be on this side of the ledger to help continue moving this team forward.”