The Brooklyn Nets today announced that they have mutually agreed to part ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson.
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, 52, was named the Nets head coach prior to the 2016-17 season and has compiled a record of 118-190 since taking over. Last season, Atkinson led Brooklyn to a 42-40 record and the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
Through 62 games this season, the Nets hold a 28-34 record and are currently in the East's seventh seed. The decision comes less than 24 hours after Atkinson led the team to a 19-point win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Per the team's official release, General Manager Sean Marks said that "after discussions with Kenny about the progress of the season, we mutually agreed that a coaching change would be in the best interest of the team."
Brooklyn entered the season with lofty expectations after a monumental offseason that saw the franchise land superstar free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, as well as veteran big man DeAndre Jordan.
Expectations for the season were tempered from the beginning as it was known that Durant would not play due to Achilles rehab. Essentially, this year was viewed as being a transitional period for the franchise.
However, more injuries, including Irving's shoulder ailment that required season-ending surgery, resulted in the team struggling to stay afloat at times.
"This was an extremely difficult decision," Marks added. "However the organization believes it is one that is necessary at this time. Kenny was instrumental in developing our players and building the identity and culture we have become known for over these past four seasons. The foundation he helped put into place here is one that we will continue to build on in the coming seasons."
In the interim, 12-year NBA veteran and long-time assistant coach, Jacque Vaughn will serve as the Nets head coach.
Brooklyn is back in action on Sunday when it hosts the Chicago Bulls.
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