5 candidates to replace Kenny Atkinson as Brooklyn Nets head coach

After a parting of ways with Kenny Atkinson, who will be the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets?

Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, Tom Thibodeau
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

4.Tom Thibodeau

Thibodeau proved to be in over his head with lead executive duties in Minnesota, and end of his tenure was marred by drama driven by one of his “guys” in Jimmy Butler. If he’s just going to coach and not be given personnel authority, he’ll probably have a job in the league next season. The New York Knicks are rumored to have interest in him for their head coaching vacancy.

Thibodeau’s reputation precedes him. He is a hard-driving coach who has run players into the ground, and is constantly barking as he stalks the baseline during games. That old-school style would probably not go over with Irving and Durant, two supremely talented players who are also delicate flowers in a lot of respects.

If Irving and Durant have any say in who will be the next Nets’ coach, and it’s fair to assume they will for better or worse, Thibodeau may not be high on their list. But they do know him from their time with Team USA Basketball, where Thibodeau has been an assistant, so Thibodeau shouldn’t be ruled out completely.