The Nets and head coach Kenny Atkinson are mutually parting ways, the team announced on Saturday. Jacque Vaughn will serve as head coach for the remainder of the season.
SNY's Ian Begley reports that, per sources, some players felt that Atkinson had lost a portion of the locker room recently.
"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," Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. "This was an extremely difficult decision, however the organization believes it is the one that is necessary at this time. Kenny was instrumental in developing our players and building the identity and culture we have become known for these past four seasons. The foundation he helped put into place here is one the we will continue to build on in the coming seasons.
"We are forever grateful for all of Kenny's hard work and dediciation to the Nets and the Brooklyn community. Kenny, Laura, and the Atkinson family will always remain a part of our Nets family and we wish them nothing but the best in the future."
Atkinson took over the Nets head coaching job at the start of the 2016-2017 season, compiling a 118-190 record in his three-plus seasons. He spent four years as an assistant with the Knicks before another four years as a Hawks assistant. He ranks third in franchise history in wins and fourth in games coached.
Brooklyn currently sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 28-34.
When he was officially introduced as a Net this summer, Kevin Durant mentioned that he was looking forward to working with Atkinson, and how the coach factored in to his decision to sign with Brooklyn.
"I was doing a lot of YouTube research on Kenny Atkinson, and watching interviews and seeing how he talked about the game," Durant said at the time. "And I really liked his approach to his craft as a coach, and that's what drew me in pretty quickly."
With Brooklyn now facing a head coaching search, it's notable that Durant's agent, Rich Kleinman, told Begley last month just how much he loves Mark Jackson.
"Jackson is, to me, just one of those unique individuals that knows how to lead people, that knows how to inspire people. He's got a personality that demands a certain level of attention. And I think it's unfair that he hasn't gotten a shot in the league, but I'm confident that he will."
Time will tell if that shot will come with Brooklyn.