Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew confirmed on Tuesday the additions of Kenny Atkinson and Bob Weiss to his coaching staff. Weiss will be familiar name for long term fans having coached the team from 1990-93. Drew indicated that Weiss will be heavily involved in player development and will act as an advisor to Drew.
The team also officially announced the hiring of former Knicks assistant Kenny Atkinson. That move once again focuses on player development as Atkinson has a solid background and was credited with helping to develop Jeremy Lin while in New York.
"Kenny came highly recommended as a guy who not only had experience as an assistant but also phenomenal player development guy," Drew said. "I did a lot of research on him talked to a lot of people. I interviewed him a couple times and thought he was a great candidate to be that third assistant coach and a player development guy."
A couple of new hires also means a couple of departures as well. The team also announced that Tyrone Hill and Kenny Gattison would not return to the staff.
"I thought Kenny Gattison and Tyrone Hill did a really good job but, like with anything else, you are always looking to enhance what you have and try to make a situation you feel can help the ball club," Drew said. "I felt it was time for a change."
The changes didn't stop there as the team also replaced long time strength and conditioning coach Chattin Hill with Jeff Watkinson who had previously worked at Indiana and individually with Eric Gordon. Finally the team announced that former general manager Rick Sund will be a senior advisor to basketball operations.
Danny Ferry has preached player development since taking over the team and nearly every move announced in regards to the coaching staff was slanted in that direction. Its tough to see some familiar faces depart but change should be expected when a significant move is made in the front office.