The Brooklyn Nets and head coach Kenny Atkinson have decided to go their separate ways in a stunning development.
The Brooklyn Nets and Head Coach Kenny Atkinson have mutually agreed to part ways. Jacque Vaughn will serve as head coach for the remainder of the season.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 7, 2020
Atkinson was in his fourth season as Nets head coach. After two losing seasons, he led Brooklyn to the postseason in 2019 with a 42-40 record which was good enough to secure the six seed in the Eastern Conference.
While the Nets planned to be without Durant this season, the team has still played below expectations.
The Nets are currently 28-34 and hold just a half-game lead for the seventh seed. A big reason for the team’s struggles has been unexpected injuries to Irving, who is now out for the season after playing in just 20 games.
Atkinson finishes his tenure as Nets head coach 118-190 with a playoff record of 1-4.
With Atkinson on the way out, Jacque Vaughn will serve as the team’s head coach for the remainder of the season.
The 45-year-old Vaughn has been on Atkinson’s staff since his arrival in Brooklyn in 2016.
Before the Nets, Vaughn spent four seasons as head coach of the Orlando Magic and three seasons as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs.
As a player, Vaughn played 12 NBA seasons including three with the Nets from 2004-2006. In 2007, he earned a championship ring with the Spurs. He also spent time with the Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, and the Magic.
Vaughn will lead the team for 20 regular-season games and look to secure at least the seventh seed in the East to avoid a first-round playoff matchup with the 53-10 Milwaukee Bucks.
The Nets will be back in action Sunday when they host the Chicago Bulls.