NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving prefers Tyronn Lue for Nets over Kenny Atkinson


The Brooklyn Nets made a surprising move Saturday, parting ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson despite currently being in the mix for a playoff spot.

Atkinson's firing immediately drew speculation about ex-Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving pulling the strings. It was reported "some players wanted Atkinson gone," which led many to point the fingers at Irving and his superstar teammate Kevin Durant.

It turns out there may have been something to that speculation after all, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

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Goodwill writes:

Irving soured on Atkinson early, league sources told Yahoo Sports, and currently prefers Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue to be the team’s next head coach. Lue was the head coach in Cleveland when Irving hit the winning shot in the 2016 NBA Finals and was in talks to take the Lakers job before discussions broke down.

Why Irving felt Atkinson wasn't the man for the job is anyone's guess, but it certainly comes as no surprise to Celtics fans. Wherever Irving goes, drama seems to follow.

Atkinson apparently didn't want anything to do with Irving and Durant, either.

“Kenny pushed for the parting just as much, if not more than Brooklyn," Goodwill added.

Irving underwent season-ending shoulder surgery earlier this week. The 27-year-old played in only 20 games during his first season with Brooklyn, averaging 27.4 points and 6.4 assists.

Jacque Vaughn will take over as the Nets' interim head coach. 

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