Nets general manager Sean Marks welcomed Atkinson to the organization with a statement, saying the move makes sense due to the assistant's experience working under proven head coaches. He will now be the sixth Nets' head coach since moving to Brooklyn, following Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo, Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins, and Tony Brown.
Brown took over as an interim head coach after the team fired Hollins in January following a 10-27 start. They would go on to finish 21-61 on the year, the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Atkinson has been an assistant with the Hawks the past four seasons, and has worked under Mike D'Antoni with the New York Knicks from 2008-2012. He has also played professionally in Europe and coached in the Dominican Republic.
He hopes to use his experience in the game of basketball, as well as what he has learned under two successful coaches, as he attempts to turn around an organization that has been on a downhill slide since their move to Brooklyn.