Early Saturday morning, the Brooklyn Nets made an announcement that shocked the basketball world. The team “mutually agreed to part ways” with head coach Kenny Atkinson.
It’s an interesting time to make the move as the Nets are in the midst of a playoff push. Brooklyn currently owns the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoff race with 20 games left on the schedule.
However, general manager Sean Marks decided now was the right time to make a coaching change. The team released a statement about the move.
“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,” Marks said. “This was an extremely difficult decision, however the organization believes it is one that is necessary at this time.”
Here’s the full statement from the team.
The Nets just announced that Kenny Atkinson is OUT as coach … pic.twitter.com/VzIj2NVsuf
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 7, 2020
Brooklyn sits at 28-34 on the season. While the team is under .500 on the year, they’re still in the think of the playoff race.
Which begs the question as to why the team decided to make a change during the season – especially considering the playoff implications.
Atkinson led a surprising Nets team to the playoffs last season before the team added Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. He owned a 118-190 record with the team.