If Kevin Durant wasn't a fan of Kenny Atkinson's culture with the Brooklyn Nets, he's almost certainly not going to be fond of what could come next.
The Nets and Atkinson mutually agreed to part ways Saturday and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson already is being linked to the job due to his relationship with Durant's agent, Rich Kleiman.
I dont want to jinx Mark Jackson, but logic dictates, as well as his relationship with Kevin Durant (& agent) and Kyrie Irving, make him prohibitive home town favorite to coach Brooklyn next season, it says here...— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) March 7, 2020
Kleiman grew up a diehard Knicks fan and became a huge fan of Jackson during his childhood. The two now have become close friends. Kleiman wanted Jackson to get the Knicks head coaching job, and it seems like a certainty he'll try to get him the job in Brooklyn to coach Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Rich Kleiman lobbied for Mark Jackson to get the Knicks job, and I'll assume he does the same with the Nets. https://t.co/ZyF4Tspq17— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) March 7, 2020
Jackson coached the Warriors for three seasons, racking up 98 wins in the last two while leading the team to the playoffs and setting the foundation for what would be a dynastic run led by Steve Kerr.
While the Warriors had success with Jackson on the court, there was dissension in the ranks. Jackson failed to find an assistant coach he was on the same page with and reportedly got into a confrontation with Kirk Lacob and asked for consultant Jerry West to be kept away from practices and team activities.
Not exactly a happy family.
Kerr entered, instilled a winning culture and helped take the Warriors from a second-round playoff exit waiting to happen to a behemoth that went to five straight NBA Finals.
That culture attracted Durant to Golden State, where he won two titles and two Finals MVP awards in three years in the Bay Area.
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Durant initially liked the culture the Nets had, but a look under the hood changed his mind. So Atkinson is out.
Jackson could be next, but can he build the type of culture Durant craves? Seems unlikely.