Nets name Hawks assistant Atkinson as head coach


Brooklyn Nets have named Atlanta Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson as their new head coach

The Nets announced on Sunday that the 48-year-old has agreed undisclosed terms become their 21st head coach in franchise history. 

"We are thrilled to announce Kenny Atkinson as our new head coach and to welcome him and his family to Brooklyn," Nets General Manager Sean Marks said.

"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."

Atkinson, the top assistant on Budenholzer's staff, will finish out the season with the Hawks, who are currently playing the Boston Celtics in a first-round playoff series. 

"I am truly honored and humbled to be named the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, and I would like to thank Nets' ownership and management for this tremendous opportunity," Atkinson said. "Together with Sean [Marks, Nets GM] and his staff, we look forward to building a winning tradition here in Brooklyn.

"I also want to acknowledge and thank Mike Budenholzer and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for their cooperation and support throughout this process. While I am eager to begin working with the Nets, I remain committed to my coaching responsibilities with the Hawks for the remainder of the postseason."

Atkinson spent four seasons as an assistant with the Knicks before joining the Hawks in 2012. He also spent a season as director of player development with the Houston Rockets.

He can also boast extensive experience as an assistant coach in international competition.

Atkinson starred as a player at the University of Richmond and went on to enjoy a 14-year professional career, in the CBA, USBL and in Europe.

The Nets finished 21-61 this season under Lionel Hollins and interim coach Tony Brown.