The basketball world woke up to somewhat surprising news Saturday: The Brooklyn Nets and coach Kenny Atkinson had mutually agreed to part ways.
Atkinson was one of the reasons Kevin Durant decided to leave the Warriors for the Nets last summer.
Kevin Durant at Nets Media Day on Sept. 27: “I was doing a lot of YouTube research on Kenny Atkinson and watching interviews to see how he talked after games and stuff. I really liked his approach to his craft as a coach and that’s what drew me in pretty quickly.” https://t.co/r6eW3w18yc— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) March 7, 2020
But it appears the relationship between Atkinson, Durant and fellow Nets star Kyrie Irving soured quickly.
Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill reported Saturday night, citing multiple sources, that Atkinson "wasn’t fond of coaching Durant and Irving based on what he saw this season, and would rather something happen now than at the end of the season."
That's a pretty big indictment on Durant and Irving, if true.
So, it was a pretty strange day for Durant, who won't play this season as he rehabs a surgically repaired right Achilles tendon.
Then came the Warriors' win over the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center.
Guess who was watching? Yep. Durant, who posted an image of his TV screen on his Instagram Story.
Nets get rid of their coach and then KD is watching his former team the same night. Wonder if he's missing it out here. 🤔— Ali Thanawalla (@Ali_Thanawalla) March 8, 2020
(Via Durant's IG stories) pic.twitter.com/NaHIyLVXTX
Yes, the Warriors are having issues of their own, with Klay Thompson out for the season and Steph Curry just returning from a broken hand but now also dealing with the flu.
Yes, the Warriors have the NBA's worst record at 15-49.
Yes, it was a nationally televised game, so a lot of people, including other NBA players likely were tuned in.
But based on how events unfolded Saturday, was Durant longing for his ex? We'll likely never know unless he says so himself.