The Brooklyn Nets recently parted ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson. Should the New York Knicks hire the player development specialist?
The New York Knicks’ season is all but over, regardless of if the NBA plans to return following the current hiatus. The Knicks have been eliminated from the Playoffs and should be looking forward to the offseason.
Let’s be honest: The Knicks basically had another wasted season. New York still has the same questions about young players such as Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr., and Mitchell Robinson. All three have had various degrees of struggles this season.
Furthermore, the Knicks should be planning for the next head coach. I like Mike Miller, but I don’t believe he’s the answer.
The obvious choice has to be Kenny Atkinson—and not only because of his success in Brooklyn.
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Taking a team to the playoffs is a good résumé builder, but his ability to develop young players has to be something that interests the Knicks brass and fans.
Just look at the Nets. Players like Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and many others have flourished under Atkinson. Guys like Dinwiddie and LeVert have even turned into All-Star caliber players.
Both have also become near 20 point-per-game scorers.
We’ve also seen the Nets guards thrive in pick and roll settings. Imagine seeing both RJ Barrett and DSJ running those sets with Robinson. Atkinson’s impact could have the same effect.
You can see that Atkinson likes, if not prefers, to coach young players and help with development.
This ingredient has been missing for the Knicks for far too long.
Let’s face it: Fans and the Knicks organization need to forget about a marquee free agent saving the franchise. It’s time to look within the organization for a savior. The likes of DSJ, Robinson, Knox, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, and Barrett could all use a coach like Atkinson.
The Knicks need to rebuild with the talent they have and then venture out to sign a free agent, similar to what the Brooklyn Nets have done these last few years.
With a new front office in place, it’s time to change the culture of the Knicks. They need to change from a team that looks to sign big players to developing ones they have drafted—not to mention the high lottery pick they’ll likely receive this year.
Kenny Atkinson would be a coach who can build a foundation for the New York Knicks before bringing in players from the outside.