The Nets hired Kenny Atkinson to be the team’s head coach prior to the 2016/17 season, which was a deviation from the norm for NBA head coaching hires. While Atkinson was a respected assistant coach, he had no head coaching experience and was more of a developmental coach; someone who works with players individually, aside from the usual team mindset.
On his podcast, The Woj Pod, alongside Bobby Marks and Brian Windhorst, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Atkinson’s hiring may be a blueprint for future coaching hires. With several teams in the market for head coaches, and more organizations prioritizing development, hiring someone in the mold of Atkinson is an appealing choice. Just recently, the Hawks hired former Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce, who is viewed in a similar light as Atkinson (via NetsDaily).
“You may see a new vehicle in the coaching profession because all these organizations are saying there are so many teams in rebuild,” Wojnarowski said. “There are so many teams that are not trying to win and they’re saying for the next two or three years we’re gonna have a lot of young guys. We’re going to have some draft picks. And we feel like we’ve got to get those guys better.”
- With the Nets wielding a late first-round pick and two second-round picks in this year’s draft, the team can get creative with their prospective selections. During a recent interview, the Nets’ director of player personnel, Gregg Polinsky, indicated the team could go the draft-and-stash route by selecting a European player and giving him the chance to develop overseas, per NetsDaily.
- Brose Bamberg, a top team in Germany, will be lending the services of player development coach Stefan Weissenbock to the Nets this summer, NetsDaily relays. Weissenbock will travel to New York several times over the summer while Bamberg will receive a rental fee for his services, per the report. He has worked with several NBA players.
- As we noted yesterday, Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon is among several candidates for the Pistons’ basketball operations position.