The Nets And Head Coach Kenny Atkinson Will Mutually Part Ways

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The Brooklyn Nets will head into this offseason with a head coaching vacancy. The team announced that Kenny Atkinson, who had served as the team’s head coach since 2016, would leave the organization. Per a release, the decision for Atkinson to leave the Nets was made mutually between the now-former coach and the front office.

The release notes that former Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn, who was one of Atkinson’s assistants in Brooklyn, will take over for the remainder of the year. In part due to injuries to both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn currently sits at 28-34 on the year, which would make them the 7-seed if the season ended today and puts them a half-game above the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference. They are, however, five games clear of the 9-seed.

As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN noted, there was a sense that Atkinson’s time with the franchise had run its course, and he speculates that teams looking to go through a rebuild will be champing at the bit to bring him on board this summer.

While Atkinson’s 118-190 record with the Nets is subpar, it does lack some context. He was hired in 2016 with the hopes of emphasizing player development for a team hamstrung by the trade that saw them part ways with a myriad of assets for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Under his tutelage, Brooklyn became revered for its ability to help guys grow as players, and last season, the Nets were able to secure their first postseason berth since the 2014-15 campaign.

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