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Brooklyn Nets Hire Hawks Assistant Kenny Atkinson As Head Coach

New Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks has quickly tabbed his head coach. That man is Atlanta Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson.

The Brooklyn Nets didn’t wait for the offseason to name their next head coach.

New general manager Sean Marks wants to build the same winning culture in Brooklyn from his time with the San Antonio Spurs, and he believes Kenny Atkinson is the guy to do it.

In a statement, Marks praised Atkinson’s coaching history.

“We are thrilled to announce Kenny Atkinson as our new head coach and to welcome him and his family to Brooklyn. Kenny’s years of NBA coaching experience working under successful head coaches such as Mike Budenholzer and Mike D’Antoni have provided him with the foundation and experience we were looking for in a head coach. We believe that Kenny’s core principles, leadership, communication skills and exceptional background in player development make him an ideal fit for the culture we are building in Brooklyn.”

Just days ago, ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted out not only that the Nets were beginning a coaching search but they were zeroing in on a big name.

Turned out Marks had his man in Atkinson all along.

As usual with NBA coaching hires, there are strong ties between the involved parties. Atkinson is currently working for the Hawks under Mike Budenholzer, a long-time Spurs assistant. When Budenholzer left San Antonio for Atlanta, Marks took his spot on the bench. So yeah, there’s a little bit of a tie in.

Atkinson hasn’t just coached under a great defensive mind like Bundeholzer though. Knicks’ fans may recognize him as one of the assistants from the Mike D’Antoni era, and say whatever you want about D’Antoni, but he sure can coach offense.

Atkinson will have one of the toughest jobs in the NBA next season, taking over a team that just hired their sixth head coach in seven seasons. Good luck, Kenny.

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I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for EliteSportsNY.com. I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: chip.murphy@elitesportsny.com Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.