Kenny Atkinson coached the Brooklyn Nets in Summer League, which is rare amongst the NBA coaching fraternity as they typically delegate the duties to one of their assistants.
“I think it’s three-fold: One - I think this is a young core we’re trying to build with so I thought that was important," said Atkinson. "If I’m gonna ask them to play — guys like Spencer [Dinwiddie], Rondae doesn’t have to play — if I’m gonna ask them to do it, then I feel like I should be with them. I think this is the best way I can coach them. I can be hands-on, have film sessions. To me, this is kind of like a dress rehearsal. It’s hard to do that just working guys out in the summer and just doing skill work.
"So I think there’s real value [through Summer League] in helping them improve. And I just value Summer League a lot. For a staff, figuring out issues. I think it’s undervalued honestly.
“Lastly, even improving myself. Even [in their July 13 win over the Nuggets], there were 2 or 3 situations where I could have played it better. It’s like I’m taking a test. You’ve really got to have the answer. I obviously don’t have a lot of experience being a head coach. This just gives me more time in a flight simulator.
"And it’s hard to get during the offseason. You get six months off in the offseason. So this gets me back, gets the juices flowing.”