Video: Kenny Atkinson held back by players and coaches as he went off on referee
There’s a lot to be frustrated about when one is with the Brooklyn Nets. Now in his second season with the team, head coach Kenny Atkinson is not new to that feeling.
He showed intense emotions Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves and it concluded with his ejection.
The incident rooted on a play mid-way in the fourth quarter, where the Nets were trailing the Timberwolves by 15 with only six minutes left. Nets guard Joe Harris drove to the rim and missed a pair of shots while being defended by Karl-Anthony Towns.
There was definite body contact on both attempts but the referees did not make a whistle, prompting Atkinson to become very furious. The Nets’ coach had to be restrained by Spencer Dinwiddie and some of his staff.
Atkinson — thankfully — had cooled down b the time he faced reporters in the post-game interviews:
“Yeah, you know it happens. Just a little frustrated. I’d rather talk about the game. Obviously, [the] Timberwolves outplayed us. [They] got a lot of talent, really hurt us on the boards. I thought we put them on the free throw line too much. I think that was key. We went small, obviously. It helped out offense but it hurt our rebounding. You can’t give up all those second opportunities [to the Timberwolves].”
The 111-97 loss saw the Nets get manhandled right from the tip, as they faced a 19-point lead at the end of the first quarter and just played catch-up for the whole game. Their defense allowed six Timberwolves to reach double figures along with 10 offensive rebounds to Karl-Anthony Towns.