After the Brooklyn Nets hired Lionel Hollins almost two years ago, many thought they found their commander-in-chief for years to come. But with the way the team played to start off this season and the quick triggers that NBA teams seem to have nowadays, he stood no chance to finish out the year nevertheless return for a 3rd year. While Tony Brown did a decent job filling in for Coach Hollins, it was certain the Nets were in the market for a new Head Coach.
Fast-forward 5 days after their last game against the Raptors, and the team has that new coach in Kenny Atkinson.
Many Nets fans, myself included, were taken back by the sudden hiring. With the likes of Tom Thibodeau, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and other head coaches out on the market, the hiring of Kenny Atkinson within 5 days was even more surprising.
So who is Kenny Atkinson? Kenny is a former professional basketball player. Although he never got a chance to showcase his talents in the NBA, he played 14 years professionally overseas. He’s a New Yorker at heart being born in Huntington, New York. He’s currently the Assistant Coach for the Atlanta Hawks and has been with the Hawks since 2012. Kenny isn’t a big-name addition, but if the success of the Hawks has any implications on this signing, he will give the Nets their identity that has been missing for a long time.
At the end of the day, the Nets’ front office know what they’re doing. They have experienced the route of big-name signings which came with huge expectations, and that left a bitter taste in their mouth to say the least. They are now going the more conventional route, a lot like San Antonio, to find the right pieces for the puzzle.
With the offseason only beginning, Sean Marks is just getting started with his rebuilding process. I expect him to have a contending team on the floor within the next 3 years. It’s obvious that the Nets won’t be rebuilding out of the NBA Draft for quite some time so the management will have to do their best at luring free agents into Brooklyn. But with the right leadership and a front office that is willing to make the needed moves, it’s almost certain the Nets won’t go through an abysmal season as 2015-2016 in the near future.