The Nets will hire Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson as their new coach. The story was first reported by reporter Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The Nets bypassed the type of big names they've targeted for the bench in Brooklyn and turning to someone experienced with developing winning programs gradually.
"Aside from his tremendous skills and experience, he has the mindset we need to build a winning team day by day, step by step," owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. "Together, we can do great things."
Atkinson will remain with the Hawks until their season ends. The Nets said a press conference will be held at a date to be determined.
Resisting a lengthy coaching search and the allure of coaches such as Tom Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy, new general manager Sean Marks chose Atkinson for his first big move since taking over the Nets in February.
Atkinson, 48, is from Northport, N.Y. He served as an assistant with the Knicks from 2008 to 2012, when he joined the staff of Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer.
Before joining the Knicks, he was Houston's director of player development from 2007-08. He had a long career as a player in the minor leagues and overseas after graduating from Richmond in 1990.
Atkinson will be the Nets sixth coach since they moved to Brooklyn in 2012. >> Read more...
Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts
As a Long Island guy, I'll admit I'm a sucker for a local guy. So I'm excited to see Atkinson get a shot at the helm of the Nets. It make sense. Atkinson and GM Sean Marks both have the same agent, and they're both Gregg Popovich disciples. I like that it's not a splashy move, because it feels well thought out and calculated. Obviously, we'll see how it holds up over time.
There's a lot of work to be done, but Atkinson is in a nice position because Marks is committed to a full rebuild. Where other coaches here have been hampered by big (and somewhat unrealistic) expectations, Atkinson should have plenty of time to implement a system, set a course of attack and, most importantly, pick his own staff. That's more than essentially every coach in the Brooklyn era can say.