The new president of the New York Knicks, Leon Rose, will need time to evaluate current personnel. It seems like interim head coach Mike Miller, most likely, won’t be returning. Rose will be looking for a more experienced coach. But what he should be looking for is a developmental coach.
Kenny Atkinson was let go by the Brooklyn Nets. This news came as a shock considering he’s doing the best possible job with the roster he has. Coming from Knicks fans, that’s saying something.
Before the arrival of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Atkinson was able to take a young Nets roster to the playoffs. And while fans probably won’t want to admit it, he put a better, younger product on the floor than the Knicks.
Last season, Atkinson had a group of young, role players that earned the 6th playoff spot in the East. While it might not mean much in the East, he still developed a playoff team. This season, his roster is even worse with the injuries to Irving and Durant and they’re still in the playoff picture, the Knicks are not.
Irving and Durant are headaches, so being relived of his duties isn’t on Atkinson. It was more player driven, allegedly, well Irving driven.
Atkinson coming to the Knicks would be the best case scenario. He can develop young players and that is what the Knicks need the most. Tom Thibodeau remains high on the list for the position but isn’t high on developing youth. Jeff Van Gundy is a pipe dream and shouldn’t want to leave his comfy job for the mess that is the Knicks anyway. Atkinson should be the New York Knicks number one priority for developmental purposes.