Rick Pitino
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

Rick Pitino said he was ‘shocked’ with the Brooklyn Nets’ decision to part ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson a few weeks ago.

The Hall of Fame coach could not understand why the Nets made this move, since Atkinson had made them a playoff team.

“Shocked. If you look at his roster right now, there’s no way they’re a playoff team, and he has them in the playoffs. He took guys with no reputation, and developed them into really good basketball players. Actually would have been one of my choices for Coach of the Year,” Pitino told Steve Serby of The New York Post.

Atkinson had a 118-190 record over three-plus seasons with the Nets. For his part, Pitino took over Iona College last week.