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#pounditFriday, September 18, 2020

Report: Kyrie Irving soured on Kenny Atkinson, wants Ty Lue as Nets coach

Kyrie Irving Nets

The Brooklyn Nets ushered in a new era when they signed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant over the summer, and they are going to end up with a new coach now too.

Kenny Atkinson and the Nets announced Saturday that they have mutually parted ways during what was Atkinson’s fourth season as the team’s head coach. A report said some Nets players wanted Atkinson fired. The coach acknowledged his voice was no longer as powerful as it once was.

Yahoo’s Vincent Goodwill wrote an article on Saturday saying as much. He says Irving “soured” on Atkinson early on and wants his former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, Ty Lue, as the Nets’ next coach. Lue is currently an assistant with the Clippers.

What the Nets had built was attractive to Durant and Irving and played a big role in convincing them to sign with the team. But the culture of the team changed from young, unproven players to one with proven All-Stars when Durant and Irving joined, and it sounds like Irving was not buying into Atkinson’s ways. That helps explain why Atkinson would have been just as agreeable to leave since he felt powerless.

So far, we’ve seen Irving force a trade away from Cleveland; blow up the team chemistry in Boston; and now get a coach fired in Brooklyn. The Nets knew adding Irving was risky. Now it’s up to Kyrie and Durant to show next season that they were worth the investment.

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