Jay Williams Reveals Why Kenny Atkinson Fits Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine


Jay Williams thinks former Brooklyn Nets coach, Kenny Atkinson fits Chicago Bulls’ culture.

“I think if I’m Chicago I go with Kenny,” Williams told me on Heavy Live With Scoop B.

Heavy on Lakers With Scoop B and Jay WilliamsESPN analyst Jay Williams joins Heavy on Lakers to discuss NBA players' boycott of playoff games and the league's subsequent plans to restart the playoffs.2020-08-28T20:16:26Z

“Kenny is one helluva player developmental coach. He really is. Was he the guy that’s going to win you championships here in Brooklyn? Maybe, but I’m not sure. But getting you where the Bulls are and where the Bulls need to be, I think he can do that with them. He’s a player’s coach too; which I think would be different for Zach LaVine and Coby [White] considering the way Jim Boylen ran things which was more like a college coach.”

Jim Boylen accepted the Bulls’ coaching job in December 2018 and compiled a 39-84 record with the Bulls and didn’t make an appearance in the NBA Playoffs.

During his tenure, Boylen often held players on the Bulls roster accountable in an old-school manner that didn’t always sit right with them. One of those players who had a rift with Boylen was the face of the franchise, Zach LaVine.

Through 60 games this season, LaVine averaged 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per contest.

What about the Philadelphia 76ers?

“Elton Brand came out with a statement that they were going to give it another run with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid,” said Jay Williams.

“I think Mark Jackson would be better suited for that because Mark would push Joel Embiid. Look, Joel Embiid has to take the next step. We always talk about the accountability for guys like Brett Brown, but we need to get some accountability for Joel and Ben. They’re one of the most talented duos in the game, but it gets to a certain point where we need to see what you do every day in practice that translates to the floor and I think that Ben tries to bring it even though I think Brett Brown didn’t hold his feet to the fire in shooting his shot, but at least Ben plays hard every single night. Joel Embiid; one of the most talented big men we may ever see in the game, but the roller-coaster ride of maturity for him is a major question. And in order for him to take that next step for him as a player, you have to mentally be strong each and every day and be there and be present, but I’m not sure if that’s the case right now with him.”