UPDATE 3/8, 11:04 p.m. ET: DeAndre Jordan delivered a fiery response to anyone tying his good friends and Nets teammates, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, to the dismissal of Kenny Atkinson as head coach.
"I think whatever you're saying and whatever the reports are are bulls---," Jordan said, per ESPN. "Yeah, I'm close to Kyrie, but Wilson [Chandler] is a new player, Garrett Temple's a new player. We're all new players, so if you're going to say new players, put it on all eight of the new players."
Jordan said he was "definitely shocked" by the news of the Nets and Atkinson's decision to part ways, but understands that moves like this one are just the nature of the business. "The guys who had been here, love him, so I'm sure it's tough for them," he said. "At the end of the day, this is a business, coaches get fired, players get cut, get traded, whatever it is."
See original story below.
On Saturday, the Brooklyn Nets revealed they've decided to part ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson.
"After discussions with Kenny about the progress of the season, we mutually agreed that a coaching change would be in the best interest of the team," General Manager Sean Marks said in the statement. "This was an extremely difficult decision, however the organization believes it is one that is necessary at this time."
Atkinson spent four years as the team's play-caller after being named head coach in 2016. During this time, Atkinson helped turn the franchise around. He had an overall record of 118-190, including last season's 42-40 record, which helped the team secure a playoff birth for the first time in four years. Atkinson will be replaced by assistant coach Jacque Vaughn for the remainder of the season.
The statement doesn't explain the circumstances surrounding the decision, but sources tell Brooklyn Nets beat writer, Anthony Puccio, that "some of the players wanted him gone."
Despite their prosperous free-agency, the Nets have struggled this season. Although they are in playoff position, Brooklyn has been plagued by injuries resulting in a 28-34 record. These lackluster performances and the in-house rumblings about Atkinson's exit has fans questioning if the Nets are ready to live up to their potential.