New York Knicks interim coach Mike Miller praises now-former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson after Saturday’s exit.
This past weekend, the Brooklyn Nets put the foot down and decided to part ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson. The exit is said to have been “mutual,” but you get the feeling that none of these firings ever are. Nonetheless, mutual or not, Atkinson exits after combining for a head-coaching record of 118-190.
So now the 52-year-old will spend time on the market, but New York Knicks interim coach Mike Miller doesn’t believe he’ll stay there for long. Prior to Sunday night’s win over the Detroit Pistons, Miller extended his praise and optimism towards Atkinson.
“I think as coaches across the league and probably coaches everywhere, they feel the same thing when a coach loses their job. They’re sorry to see that,” Miller said, per Peter Botte of the New York Post. “I think Kenny’s an outstanding coach. He’s got a great reputation in the league. I’m sure people recognize that and he’ll have opportunities moving forward.”
Atkinson’s exit comes as a shock to many. He’s dealt with a number of issues this year and still had his team in a playoff position.
Despite the numerous injuries — including the ones that have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant sidelined for the remainder of the year — the Nets are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference at 29-34. It’s not a fantastic record, but once you make it into the playoffs, anything can happen. It’s a new season at that point, everyone is 0-0.
Jacque Vaughn will now serve as the team’s interim head coach moving forward. The Nets have just 19 games remaining on their regular-season slate, all of which will be crucial. The eighth-seeded Orlando Magic are just .5 games behind them in the standings. Washington, who is 23-40, is additionally six games behind Brooklyn and in ninth place.
Currently on a two-game win streak, the Nets will embark on a West Coast road trip starting on Tuesday. They’ll take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET before facing the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, respectively.