With a Fixer-Upper in the Nets, Kenny Atkinson Starts by Building Rapport

The Nets, of course, have been left little choice thanks to the handiwork of previous front offices. With the notable exceptions of Brook Lopez ($21.1 million) and Jeremy Lin ($11.5 million), who account for more than 40 percent of the team’s payroll, the Nets are largely made up of leftovers and afterthoughts, a band of role players from the margins.

“We’re all trying to make it,” said Atkinson, a career assistant who grew up on Long Island. “We’ve all been humbled.”

As if the climb were not steep enough, the Nets have also been trying to survive without Lin, who has been sidelined since Nov. 2 with a hamstring injury. Lin, the team’s starting point guard, has remained involved by manning a clipboard on the bench during games so he can chart a self-styled version of offensive-efficiency statistics.


The injured Jeremy Lin stayed involved with the team by taking notes from the bench during a game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

“Linology,” Atkinson said. “It’s beautiful. It’s…

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