Kenny Atkinson Now Longest Tenured Coach in New York
When the New Jersey Devils fired head coach John Hynes Tuesday afternoon, it had an immediate impact on their former co-tenants the Brooklyn Nets.
Nets Coach Kenny Atkinson is currently the longest tenured head coach in the Tri-State.
Hynes held the distinction previously, having led the Devils since 2015, but with his ouster it is now Atkinson who is the longest tenured coach in town, having helmed the Nets since 2016.
The current list of coaches for all nine major, professional sports teams is as follows:
Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets, Hired April 2016
David Fizdale, New York Knicks, Hired May 2018
David Quinn, New York Rangers, Hired May 2018
Barry Trotz, New York Islanders, Hired May 2018
Alain Nasreddine, New Jersey Devils, Promoted December 2019
Pat Shurmur, New York Giants, Hired January 2018
Adam Gase, New York Jets, Hired January 2019
Aaron Boone, New York Yankees, Hired December 2017
Carlos Beltran, New York Mets, Hired November 2019
And if you really want to get specific when it comes to the State of New York, Atkinson is longer tenured with the Nets than Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott (circa 2017) and Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger (circa 2019).
In short, if you are a head coach in New York, don’t get too comfortable. Hynes may not be the only coach on the way out. David Fizdale is rumored to be on the Hot Seat with the Knicks, and Monday’s 132-88 loss to Milwaukee won’t help his cause.
Meanwhile, Giants head Coach Pat Shurmur is in the midst of an eight game losing streak with the Giants, and is 7-21 in two seasons as the head coach of Big Blue. He could be on his way out. And of course, Jets fans want Adam Gase out after one season, despite the fact owner Christopher Johnson endorsed his return for 2020.
The good news for Brooklyn is Atkinson isn’t going anywhere. The team has improved in each of his first three seasons at the helm, including going 42-40 with a playoff berth last season. Atkinson signed an extension in the spring.
This season, the expectations were ratcheted up with the off-season acquisitions of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
While Durant won’t play this year as he nurses his Achilles tendon tear, and Irving has missed nine games with a shoulder injury, Atkinson has kept the team afloat. The Nets are 10-10 on the season, and 5-2 in their last seven after a 5-8 start.
Brooklyn is currently the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.