Kenny Atkinson is the New York Knicks coach of the future

Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets. New York Knicks. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

If the New York Knicks want to turn their franchise around, they will need a coach who is ready and willing to rebuild from the ground up, not build around superstars, and that coach is Kenny Atkinson.

The New York Knicks had their young core play the last seven games of the 2018-19 season as though it were a seven-game playoff series. At the same time, Kenny Atkinson led his little-known Brooklyn Nets team to the first round of the playoffs against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. The series went five games because Kenny’s Nets refused to be swept.

Who is Kenny Atkinson?

Kenny Atkinson is the former coach of the Brooklyn Nets. After four years of building up a team then taking them to the playoffs last year, was unceremoniously dumped on March 7. He is a great coach for a team that wants to rebuild. A team such as the New York Knicks.

I have to get something out upfront. I’m not a Brooklyn Nets fan, have never been even when they were in New Jersey. But I do like the way Kenny Atkinson runs a basketball team.

Tom Dowd, a Staff Writer for the Brooklyn Nets, wrote:

"Brooklyn Nets Coach Kenny Atkinson entered his third season as an NBA head coach with a reputation as one of the league’s more progressive coaches in terms of embracing what he tends to describe as ‘the modern NBA’ with its offensive emphasis on high-volume shots beyond the 3-point line and at the rim, a defensive emphasis to force exactly the opposite type of shot profile, and a preference for versatile wings and big men who can space the floor."

I am a 50-plus years Knicks fan. I have waited for almost a decade to see a proper rebuild of this team. When Atkinson started with the Brooklyn Nets, his roster did not consist of any NBA superstars, All-Stars, or up and coming stars…he had no max players. From scratch, he built a playoff team in four years.

The current Knicks rebuild (or lack thereof)

I was one of those who was elated during the David Fizdale introductory press conference. I believed, like many others, that the New York Knicks were finally going to put a team together from the ground up.

Young players and a few young vets made up Fizdale’s team with Kristaps Porzingis, when back from his ACL injury, dominating in the middle. They had first-round picks and maybe would get a shot to draft one of the top kids coming out of college, like Zion Williamson.