Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie says the reason the players on the team really gravitate and love playing for head coach Kenny Atkinson is because he understands what they are going through.

Atkinson played point guard in Europe, so he can relate to the Nets players very well.

“I think what differentiates Kenny from different people is that he played at a really high level, so he's very understanding of what we're going through,” Dinwiddie told Anthony Puccio SportsNet New York. “For me, for DLo [D'Angelo Russell], for Caris [LeVert], etcetera, he really helped all of us grow. He was a primary ball handler back when he played, he's shared some of those same mentalities on how we play the game and he's open, he's willing to be collaborative as a coach, as a leader, and it really helps all of us out.”

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The Nets are reportedly extending Atkinson's contract, along with general manager Sean Marks. The two men have changed the culture in Brooklyn.

Entering Saturday, the Nets are 39-40. The franchise is trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Dinwiddie, who backs up D'Angelo Russell at the point guard spot, has played a big role this season for the Nets.