Boomer Esiason: Firing of Nets Coach Was '100 Percent Player Driven'

WFAN Host Talked To People Behind The Scenes
By , WFAN Sports Radio 66AM & 101.9 FM New York

WFAN's Boomer Esiason did some investigating Monday and confirmed what many people initially suspected after the Nets announced they were parting ways with coach Kenny Atkinson: that the move was "100% player driven."

"A good coach and a good man, and somebody got screwed here, especially by guys that aren't even playing," Esiason said at the start of Tuesday's "Boomer and Gio" show. "And that's the thing that's really bothersome about what happened to Kenny ... with the Nets. 

"And (general manager) Sean Marks can shovel whatever he wants to shovel ... about how this whole thing went down, but it's really disappointing when you think about it. When you really think about this culture and this collaboration that Sean Marks is trying to bring to the Nets 'cause he wants to model it after the San Antonio Spurs. Do you think the San Antonio Spurs would've ever listened to somebody to say 'fire a coach'? Do you think they would ever do that? No, they wouldn't do it."

Marks has insisted the split with Atkinson "was really just between Kenny and myself" and was made with an eye on the Nets reaching "another level." But people "behind the scenes" left Esiason with a different impression. 

"Now the players in the NBA are running the league," he said. "They are 100% running the league. They want to play for friends. They don't want to deal with actually being coached. They don't want to deal with listening to somebody that's going to grind them in practice and make them practice.

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson
Photo credit USA TODAY Images

Added Gregg Giannotti, Esiason's co-host: "Once you sold your soul, this was going to happen. Once you handed the keys over to them, this is what was going to happen." 

To listen to the open from Tuesday's "Boomer and Gio" show, click on the audio player above.

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