Kenny Atkinson is now entering the all critical third season of his head coaching tenure with the (ascending?) Brooklyn Nets.
The Long Islander has already developed a reputation for being a work-horse, his investment in player development and greenlighted, three-pointed shooting-oriented attack.
He’s also been quick to make impressions on the new Nets.
Jared Dudley, who is entering his 12th NBA season – and seventh different team – expressed a level of excitement about being in Brooklyn in general, and in Atkinson, who he sees as a big part of the elation.
Dudley also offered a high level, interesting comparison on Monday’s Media Day.
“A little Larry Brown-ish when he’s got a little fire under him,” said the forward. “I would say that.”
In what context? Dudley connected the dots on a few things, including their shared New York roots. Brown is from Brooklyn, after all.
“Obviously you can tell (Atkinson’s) a New York guy: Firey and energetic,” said Dudley. “He’s always around. I don’t know him like that but I bet you when he goes home he’s watching film at night. It’s kind of hard to leave basketball from him.
“Certain people like Doc Rivers after practice could go right to golf. I don’t see Kenny as a golfer right after practice. I see someone who’s over here making a ham sandwich watching some film,” he added, prompting belly laughs from media members.
Dudley would know what qualifies as quality leadership. Through his 11 seasons with Charlotte (the Bobcats, that is), Phoenix twice, the Clippers, Milwaukee and Washington, the Boston College alum has played for 10 head coaches – including Brown, Doc Rivers and Alvin Gentry.