Brooklyn Nets name Atlanta Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson as new head coach

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The Brooklyn Nets' campaign has effectively been over for some time, but after the regular season ended on Thursday, the franchise have started taking actions in the hope they can be more competitive in 2016-17.

Their first piece of business has been to install a new head coach after Lionel Hollins was relieved of his duties in January and Tony Brown was installed as interim for the remainder of the season.

The man tasked with overturning the Nets' fortunes is current Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson. The 48-year-old has been a part of the staff at the Phillips Arena since 2012 and will continue in his current role until the Hawks' playoff run comes to an end.

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Having spent four years in Georgia, Atkinson also has experience as an assistant coach at Brooklyn's city rivals, the New York Knicks, where he coached from 2008 to 2012. 

As a player, the point guard never plied his trade in the NBA but enjoyed a 14-year career that saw him play in European countries such as France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. 


After reaching the playoffs 12 months ago, the aim is now for the Nets to get back into postseason action. However, it will not be an easy task. 

This season has been a year of struggle for Brooklyn, who finished with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference and ended the campaign on a ten-game losing streak. 

Despite finishing so low, the upcoming draft will offer little consolation to the franchise as their first round pick is going to the Boston Celtics and their second round to the L.A. Clippers. 

Speaking on the appointment, general manager Sean Marks said in a statement: "We are thrilled to announce Kenny Atkinson as our new head coach and to welcome him and his family to Brooklyn.

"Kenny's years of NBA coaching experience working under successful head coaches such as Mike Budenholzer and Mike D'Antoni have provided him with the foundation and experience we were looking for in a head coach.

"We believe that Kenny's core principles, leadership, communication skills and exceptional background in player development make him an ideal fit for the culture we are building in Brooklyn."

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov added: "I'd like to extend a personal welcome to Kenny and wish all of us success as we begin a new era at the Brooklyn Nets.

"Aside from his tremendous skills and experience, he has the mindset we need to build a winning team day by day, step by step. Together, we can do great things."

Eastern Conference
Brooklyn Nets
Atlantic Division
Central Division
Atlanta Hawks
Southeast Division

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