Kenny dealing with the stars
Kenny Atkinson is emerging amongst the premier coaches in the NBA and thus far has done just that relatively under the radar. There haven’t been sky-high expectations for this organization recently, actually, it’s been quite the opposite.
Last year was his first winning season with the Nets during his three-year tenure with the team so far. He’s been there since their humble beginnings in the Marks regime, now he gets to coach a potential contender.
Which essentially means: the pressure is on. He hasn’t been a head coach of a team that had the likes of Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving before; it’ll be vital that he builds a rapport with both megastars and they believe in his abilities behind the bench.
However, he has the luxury of having a team identity and culture in place that allured the two superstars—the framework was already there. It’s not exactly easy going out and securing a Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving in free agency, despite having significant cap space; ask the team’s crosstown rivals.
They have to want to play for you, and in this instance, Irving and Durant want to be in Brooklyn. Marks showcased in the early stages of the rebuild that Atkinson is his guy, now both parties are in a position to flourish.