The new-look Brooklyn Nets don’t face the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers until the end of December, so the Nets have time to work out the kinks before going against the King. Jeremy Lin will lead a Brooklyn squad that has so many new faces it looks like the maternity ward — and one of those newbies is Kenny Atkinson, the rookie NBA head coach who’s in charge of revitalizing the woebegone Nets franchise. Who? That’s the question Atkinson figures people like LeBron James will be asking. As quoted at NetsDaily, Atkinson recognizes his anonymity: “I’m sure LeBron [James] doesn’t know who the heck I am,” Atkinson said. “He looks over at the bench and says, ‘Who’s that guy?'”
Jeremy Lin, who chose Brooklyn not just for the chance to start but specifically to play for Atkinson, will try to make it so that James knows who his coach is before Christmas. James, for his part, probably already does know Atkinson. He’s a guy who seems to know every basketball mind in the universe. (James memorably claimed he remembered first hearing about Lin when Lin was still at Harvard!) But Lin will want to introduce Atkinson properly — helping his new coach make a good impression on the NBA Finals MVP. If the Nets are competitive, you can bet LeBron James will be paying attention to the how and the why, and to who drew up the X’s and O’s.