First, I dive into evidence for why getting rid of a head coach, has proven to have a positive impact on winning an NBA title.
Then at (10:30) The Athletic’s Shams Charania joins the show to discuss his story on why Kenny Atkinson is out as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets: which players had the most influential voices, Nets owner Joe Tsai’s impact on the process, why it happened now and how the hiring process for the next Nets coach will play out.
Here are a few standout quotes to me from the interview:
Shams on lack of communication between Atkinson and his players:
”Early in training camp, the offensive structure Kenny Atkinson had in place, the players were just not going for it and there was never that open line of communication between Kenny and his players.”
On what surprised him the most during his reporting about the Nets:
”I think really the lack of communication and the fact that the sides were never seemed like they were on the same page.”
On Kevin Durant speaking up during team wide meeting after blowout loss to Memphis:
”When he chimed in and pointed out that ‘Listen we have to improve our habits, this is not how you build a culture of championship contention.’ When Kevin Durant speaks, everyone listens and I think that was definitely a major critical moment in this thing as well.”
“I think there was an understanding on both sides that this was going to come inevitably in the summer, from the front office, the ownership, the star players.... Sean Marks and his front office had to do was gather all the information, all the intel they had. They knew what was going on and at that point you need to make the best decision for your franchise and if it means getting out ahead of something, that is what it takes.”
”Both sides kind of agreed that your voice (Kenny’s) is just not the same anymore like you’ve lost this team, and it is unsalvageable. It is something you won’t get back. I think at that point Kenny is like listen: if you’re going to fire me, get it out of the way I’m done.”
On Joe Tsai’s role:
”Joe Tsai has been conversational with players over the course of the whole season. I haven’t heard any level of significant impact that he has had on this, that remains unclear. But listen he is the owner of the basketball team, the franchise, the business. For him not to have a voice would shock me.”