YES Network broadcast its preview of the Nets season Thursday night, posting it later online. Sarah Kustok spoke with players, of course, but the “stars” of the show were the Nets head coach, Kenny Atkinson, and GM, Sean Marks.
It may seem a bit hackneyed to talk culture, culture, culture, but the two gave Kustok as fulsome an explanation as they have since taking over.
Here’s the highlights, as posted on YES...
There’s a lot of family in there ... on Long Island for Atkinson and on the court for the players. Among the highlights...
In an interview with three of Atkinson’s seven brothers Steve, Tom and Brian, Tom Atkinson claimed that Kenny was a “special” player on the court, at times playing competitive basketball with his brothers and guys 10 years his senior. Brian Atkinson said of Kenny: “as much as he loved to win, he hated to lose,” an attitude that motivated Kenny Atkinson to practice for hours on end on their family’s driveway basketball hoop.
Atkinson’s basketball coach at St. Anthony’s High School and 2016 New York City Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Gus Alfieri, believes that Atkinson’s current coaching style is based off of his style of development. Alfieri says that he would over exaggerate a player’s potential and work with them to reach his expectations, from there you are absorbing how to build a better player, and is key to further building a better team.
According to Marks, “communication and collaboration” is going to be a key component with Atkinson and his new coaching staff. Marks says Atkinson doesn’t just make this about himself and Marks, but it’s about the whole group.