Nets Notes: Atkinson, Vaughn, Development

New Nets coach Kenny Atkinson‘s contract is for four years and approximately $10MM, NetsDaily reports (on Twitter). With performance bonuses, Atkinson could earn as much as $12MM, NetsDaily adds. The Nets hired Atkinson, formerly the Hawks’ top assistant, on April 17th as the team’s sixth coach since it moved to Brooklyn prior to the 2012/13 season, following Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo, Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins and Tony Brown.

Here’s more on Atkinson and the Nets:

  • The Nets again moved swiftly Saturday and hired Jacque Vaughn to be the team’s top assistant. Brooklyn wanted to move fast on its coaching decisions to exemplify a new culture, which is essential in the hope of luring free agents this summer, NetsDaily writes. With Atkinson and Vaughn on board, the Nets appear to be prioritizing player development under new GM Sean Marks, which is an element that had been missing in recent years for Brooklyn, NetsDaily adds.
  • Pacers consultant Donnie Walsh, who was formerly the Knicks president when Atkinson was an assistant coach for New York, expects the first-year head coach to perform well in his new gig, as Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes in a lengthy profile. “I figured people would start noticing him. He’s got the talent,” Walsh said. “Some guys know the game, but just strategy, how to set up offense or defense. Kenny can teach the game. He’s in shape. I’d get a kick out of it. He’d say, I want you to go hard,’ and then lead it himself. [Players] are thinking, ‘[Expletive], if he can do it, I have to do it!’ … He’s like a little motor, the little battery that wouldn’t shut down.’’

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