Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant aren’t coach-killers after all.
Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters on Saturday the superstar forward and guard weren’t involved in the team’s decision to part ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson. The Nets shocked the NBA earlier in the day when they announced Atkinson’s departure and replaced him with Jacque Vaughn, sparking rumors some influential players wanted a new coach.
“The same way all 17 players factored into it, and I’ve just got done talking to them now and updating them,” Marks replied when asked how Durant and Irving specifically factored into the decision.
Nets GM Sean Marks says KD and Kyrie weren’t involved in Kenny Atkinson’s firing
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) March 7, 2020
Atkinson led the Nets to a 28-34 record, good for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings, this season without Durant for the entirety of the campaign to date and Kyrie Irving for most of it.
A Nets source told the New York Daily News’ Anthony Puccio on Saturday some players wanted Atkinson gone, and the Daily News’ Stefan Bondy is adamant the team wouldn’t have fired Atkinson if Durant and Irving wanted him to stay.
Marks denies Bondy’s charge on behalf of the Nets because, well, he has to. After all, Irving and Durant are the franchise players and the team hopes to build a winner around them.
Thumbnail photo via Nicole Sweet/USA TODAY Sports Images