Nets and Atkinson part ways

RetractableRoof

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Per ESPN, the Nets and Atkinson are parting ways?!? What the hell are they doing?

Two straight years in the postseason, playing hard with no stars. Which of Irving or Durant caused this? I can see no other reason for this to happen.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Per ESPN, the Nets and Atkinson are parting ways?!? What the hell are they doing?

Two straight years in the postseason, playing hard with no stars. Which of Irving or Durant caused this? I can see no other reason for this to happen.
D’Angelo Russell tweeted out a smiley then commented, “See, I told you.” Couple this with management meeting with the players prior to the firing and it looks like there was a ton of smoke.
 

jimv

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Wonder if the Nets comeback vs the Celtics earlier in the week was a final straw - Atkinson played reserves for most of the 4th quarter and OT -

Dinwiddie, Harris and Prince played a total of 14sec in the 4th and OT
Chioza, Kurucs and Cabarrot didn't sit

It was the right basketball move - the bench trio was obvs instrumental in the victory - but being correct and unemployed is.......sub-optimal
 

nighthob

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Wonder if the Nets comeback vs the Celtics earlier in the week was a final straw - Atkinson played reserves for most of the 4th quarter and OT -
It would be the Netsiest thing ever for a victory to be the final straw. Plus the Kyriest thing ever. It’s going to be fun watching them miss the playoffs next year.
 

jon abbey

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I wonder if Kevin Durant is regretting his decision yet.
 

Jimbodandy

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It would be the Netsiest thing ever for a victory to be the final straw. Plus the Kyriest thing ever. It’s going to be fun watching them miss the playoffs next year.
This/\

KA is too good for them. They will be much happier with a coach who rides his starters to a loss instead.
 

jon abbey

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I mean his decision to choose the Nets and Kyrie when he could have gone anywhere.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I mean his decision to choose the Nets and Kyrie when he could have gone anywhere.
Yeah but what would Kenny Atkinson have to do with this? If anything this could be a good thing for both KD and KI as they may have some influence on the new guy. Fizdale?
 

jon abbey

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I’m just going back to what Durant said in the fall:

“In his first official press conference in a Brooklyn Nets uniform, Kevin Durant explained his reasons for leaving the Golden State Warriors in free agency. His reasons are manifold, but his top reason appears to be an affection for the Nets style of basketball, with coach Kenny Atkinson central to that discussion.

His claim to have done very little research on other coaches suggests that those other reasons may have been a close second in his decision-making, with his research on Atkinson validating his choice.

Of his research, Durant said:

I was doing a lot of YouTube research on Kenny Atkinson, and watching interviews and seeing how he talked about the game. And I really liked his approach to his craft as a coach, and that’s what drew me in pretty quickly.
I could see through YouTube and from the clips that he was pretty genuine about the game.
“I didn’t really do too much research on other coaches,” Durant added. “I guess [Atkinson] always had the leg up.”“

 

HomeRunBaker

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That sounds like more PR than anything. What he is supposed to say when asked about his coach?
 

jon abbey

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So he said that six months ago and obviously hasn’t played a game since, of course he could have flipped his perception of him once he saw him up close (and seems to have), but that’s why I asked “I wonder if Kevin Durant is regretting his decision yet.” Two of the big selling points were Kyrie and Atkinson, one is gone and one is a more dubious partner all the time.
 

jon abbey

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That sounds like more PR than anything. What he is supposed to say when asked about his coach?
Come on, man. He wasn’t asked about his coach, he hadn’t even been coached yet. He was asked why he picked Brooklyn, he could have said Di Fara pizza or BAM but he singled out Atkinson, at length.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I am waiting for more news to come out before blaming Durant or Irving.

The other explanation that Atkinson lost the team is possible but even if that was the case, does firing him and handing the reins to an interim coach for the 20 remaining games and playoffs make sense? Unless the Nets think someone can take their current roster much deeper than the first round - and you would have to be fairly unrealistic to think that - why do this now?

It will be interesting as more color leaks out over the next few days.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Come on, man. He wasn’t asked about his coach, he hadn’t even been coached yet. He was asked why he picked Brooklyn, he could have said Di Fara pizza or BAM but he singled out Atkinson, at length.
Stefan Bondy of The Daily News has been adamant all day that this is Durant and Kyrie’s team and that he is 100% certain that Atkinson would not have been fired if the two of them wanted Atkinson there. Grain of salt and all that but this is the kinda pull NBA stars have so it passes the smell test.
 

jon abbey

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Stefan Bondy of The Daily News has been adamant all day that this is Durant and Kyrie’s team and that he is 100% certain that Atkinson would not have been fired if the two of them wanted Atkinson there. Grain of salt and all that but this is the kinda pull NBA stars have so it passes the smell test.
OK, but you're still missing my not that interesting or controversial point. Durant said a big part of the reason that he chose Brooklyn was Atkinson and now Atkinson is gone, before he has played a game. It doesn't really matter if Durant wanted him out or not, it's that Durant might have made a different choice last summer knowing what he knows now about Atkinson and (maybe) Kyrie and (possibly) the Nets in general.
 

Montana Fan

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I’m thinking Marks was fully in support of this move and KA likely was too. Kyrie is an Iso ball player who wants to get mines, then you get yours. The timing was smart by Marks for him and KA as they can both make their next plans. Marks knows that KA is a CBS type coach whose teams run an offensive scheme. How many times did I hear last year that the team would practice their O and everything would go great and then in the game "people" wouldn't execute the plan? 4 guys playing an offense and one guy, who also happens to be the PG, not playing the offense, completely messes things up.

Marks knew that KA wasn't right for the group next year. Lue is exactly the type of coach Kyrie wants to play with. I get mines, you (KD) get yours, I get mines.

What's the Nets starting squad next year? KI, KD, Harris (for kick out 3's), Allen (to rebound and play defense) and Levert (in case KI and KD can't get a good shot).
 

lovegtm

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nighthob

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I think the real answer here is that the Nets want another lottery pick to add to their core and Atkinson was winning without his savior. It will be hilarious when Atkinson coaches the ‘21 Cavs into the eighth seed while the Nets go 37-45.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This is what I thought. Who the hell wants to coach someone who is not going to listen to one word you say?
Wouldn’t this apply to most of not every elite NBA star? Not sure what expectations Atkinson has but it sounds like he has a lot of Thibs in him. That isn’t good if you want to have a long career coaching in this league.
 

nighthob

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Wouldn’t this apply to most of not every elite NBA star? Not sure what expectations Atkinson has but it sounds like he has a lot of Thibs in him. That isn’t good if you want to have a long career coaching in this league.
Unlike Thibs Atkinson is an actual good NBA head coach. But hey, aside from that they’re exactly alike. ;)
 

Montana Fan

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Wouldn’t this apply to most of not every elite NBA star? Not sure what expectations Atkinson has but it sounds like he has a lot of Thibs in him. That isn’t good if you want to have a long career coaching in this league.
Yeah, every elite superstar who doesn't give a crap about his coach or the team until he is paired with his buddy. Look to the opposite coast for the opposite example of Kyrie. Steph came back from his injury because he's ready to play. Many people are questioning the wisdom of that decision but I LOVE it. As the leader of the team he gets a chance to set the tone for next season as well as vetting Wiggins to see what he thinks of playing with him before the offseason.

I much more compare KA to CBS than the overbearing Thibs.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Unlike Thibs Atkinson is an actual good NBA head coach. But hey, aside from that they’re exactly alike. ;)
The Nets have all but quit on him this year having lost 6 of 7 before he had to bench his starters. Now reports are that he had just as much quit on them by trying to quit before the end of the season. They have one of the leagues worst record in backend of B2B. If you can’t get your players to play for you then it is time to leave.
 

nighthob

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I mean it’s not like the Nets were the Cleveland LeBroniers. They gutted the roster to sign the biggest beta dogs in the league, both of whom are gone. And yet he had the Nets winning with Caris LaVert, the corpse of DeAndre Jordan, and a collection of roleplayers. Like I said, it will be fun to watch him coach the Cavs to the playoffs while the Nets end up back in the lottery again.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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My guess is that this story will turn out to be some version of “Kyrie, DJ, and other players made Atkinson’s life shitty to the point that he wanted out.”

Much like with the Celtics last year, the exact story will take awhile to come out though, and there will be some unanticipated specifics as to exactly who hated whom.
Zach Lowe said on a podcast part of the problem is that DJ wasn't starting and that made "some players" mad.
 

DJnVa

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Wouldn’t this apply to most of not every elite NBA star? Not sure what expectations Atkinson has but it sounds like he has a lot of Thibs in him. That isn’t good if you want to have a long career coaching in this league.
What would Kyrie have to do before you admit that he's apparently an asshole to coach and be around, at a level that seems different from a lot of other guys?
 

nighthob

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Zach Lowe said on a podcast part of the problem is that DJ wasn't starting and that made "some players" mad.
And by "some players" he means "Irving & Durant" because every rational Net and Net fan should want less DAJ and more Jarrett Allen
 

PedroKsBambino

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We all laughed about having to pay Jordan $10 mil to get Durant to come...but it’s does look like maybe they didn’t persuade Jordan (and Durant/Kyrie) that Jordan is more buddy and mascot than player at this point. The next coach is going to have to figure out how to do that.
 

Smokey Joe

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I think the real answer here is that the Nets want another lottery pick to add to their core and Atkinson was winning without his savior. It will be hilarious when Atkinson coaches the ‘21 Cavs into the eighth seed while the Nets go 37-45.
Actually, that record might get you the 8th seed next year. Or the 7th.
 

lovegtm

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What would Kyrie have to do before you admit that he's apparently an asshole to coach and be around, at a level that seems different from a lot of other guys?
Yeah, Kyrie Trutherism seems a weird hill to die on. I think it’s also clear that he’s gotten weirder since end of Cleveland/start of Boston.
 

Van Everyman

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I get that it’s a “players league” and all but I do think there are limits to how much shit a team will take before telling a star they can pound sand. Lebron at the peak of his powers in Cleveland was one thing. A head case Kyrie and gimped up Durant is another.

There’s a reason that most of the successful teams in recent years have had strong head coaches like Pop, Kerr, Jackson, etc. – they can handle big personalities and get buy-on from the roster. Hell, even Spoelstra proved to be more solid in this respect than we gave him credit for when he coached the Big Three to Miami (no doubt backed by Pat Riley).

All that said, I don’t doubt that Atkinson saw the writing on the wall and started pushing the conversation before things got ugly.
 

HomeRunBaker

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What would Kyrie have to do before you admit that he's apparently an asshole to coach and be around, at a level that seems different from a lot of other guys?
All this stuff with the Nets the past two weeks has happened without Kyrie around. Sure he’s an asshole but I swear some will blame the Coronovirus spread on him too.
 
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What would Kyrie have to do before you admit that he's apparently an asshole to coach and be around, at a level that seems different from a lot of other guys?
I think I get what HRB is saying. Kyrie's attitude and way of composing himself may not be all that different from KD, LeBron, RWB, and other stars in the league. Think about Wade and LeBron trying to oust Spoelstra 20 games into the first Heatles season.

The main problem is that he's not as good as those other players because he's always injured, not all that athletic, and is incredibly one-dimensional. He, on his own or as a leader, cannot lift a team up and give them a shot at a championship. He's probably not even at the level anymore where you can win a championship with him as the second best player.

It's semantics, but in a vacuum, his personality might not be abnormally bad. The problem is that he's not some supernova-level talent who makes those personality issues moot by winning games. We'll see if KD is. None of this will be a story if the Nets go 58-24 next year.
 

DJnVa

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I think I get what HRB is saying. Kyrie's attitude and way of composing himself may not be all that different from KD, LeBron, RWB, and other stars in the league. Think about Wade and LeBron trying to oust Spoelstra 20 games into the first Heatles season.

The main problem is that he's not as good as those other players because he's always injured, not all that athletic, and is incredibly one-dimensional.
But that matters. The attitude has to be paired with the LBJ talent, otherwise, he's just an asshole. Which is what we're saying. Not that he's the only one, just that to quote one of the greatest Americans ever:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlOuqaZVSsw
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think I get what HRB is saying. Kyrie's attitude and way of composing himself may not be all that different from KD, LeBron, RWB, and other stars in the league. Think about Wade and LeBron trying to oust Spoelstra 20 games into the first Heatles season.

The main problem is that he's not as good as those other players because he's always injured, not all that athletic, and is incredibly one-dimensional. He, on his own or as a leader, cannot lift a team up and give them a shot at a championship. He's probably not even at the level anymore where you can win a championship with him as the second best player.

It's semantics, but in a vacuum, his personality might not be abnormally bad. The problem is that he's not some supernova-level talent who makes those personality issues moot by winning games. We'll see if KD is. None of this will be a story if the Nets go 58-24 next year.
The other thing to keep in mind is that there's plenty of evidence Kyrie is a strange person. There's lots of stories---from the flat-earth stuff to stories of how he interacts---that he's an odd dude socially/interpersonally. Whatever was true of LBJ, KD, Westbrook, Wade etc. I don't think there's as many stories combined about them being weird people as there are about just Kyrie. That in and of itself doesn't matter, but combine a hero complex (which he shares with them) and less game than any of that list (arguable on Westbrook) and it's an unhealthy stew
 

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It's a pity the trading deadline has passed, or Ainge could probably pick up Jarrett Allen for Milwaukee's #1 pick. Allen is already what Time Lord could become with good luck and good health.