Welcome to the next installment of The Coaching Carousel series. Today we are discussing Kenny Atkinson and his possible move across the bridge.
Atkinson, much like our recent looks (Thibs, Jackson and Miller) is no stranger to Madison Square Garden. In 2008, Atkinson took a job as an assistant under Mike D'Antoni within the failed run and gun offense that worked so well in Phoenix. In 2012 he moved to Atlanta under Mike Budenholzer and after another 4 year stint as an assistant Atkinson was named Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
Seeing his best season result in a first round loss to the 76ers and exponential growth of D'Angelo Russell was a sign that the Nets could possibly shed the "Little Brother" label that the NBA and Knicks fans had bestowed upon them since New Jersey.
Atkinson's record isn't much better than that of the other members of this coaching list (See Below), however he does seem to have... something. Maybe it was the way he unlocked DLo, maybe it was making Dinwiddie and LeVert serviceable teammates, maybe it was even being the cool new age guy that attracted KD and Kyrie to Brooklyn in the first place.
Whatever that "it" factor is, makes him very attractive to the Knicks and other organizations but hopefully that will translate to wins if he crosses the Brooklyn Bridge and becomes a resident of Madison Square Garden.
2016–17 82 20-62 5th in Atlantic————Missed playoffs
2017–18 82 28-54 5th in Atlantic————Missed playoffs
2018–19 82 42-40 4th in Atlantic————Lost in First Round
2019–20 62 28-34 (resigned Mid Season)
Stay tuned for part 2 of the Coaching Carousel series where we go head to head comparing these coaches to find the best fit.