DeAndre Jordan on alleged role in Kenny Atkinson's departure from Nets: 'Bulls—'

Written By Dan Bernstein
Deandre-Jordan-Kyrie-Irving-040820-getty-ftr
(Getty Images)

After the Nets "mutually agreed to part ways" with coach Kenny Atkinson on Saturday, the team raised eyebrows by changing its starting lineup Sunday to give DeAndre Jordan a start over Jarrett Allen.

Jordan was a big-money addition last offseason along with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and his place on the bench had been a topic of much discussion this year under Atkinson. Allen, who was drafted by Brooklyn in 2017, has started 58 games this year. The lineup change prompted speculation that newcomers had pushed Atkinson out and forced Jordan into an elevated role.

Jordan vehemently denied those claims to reporters after the Nets beat the Bulls 110-107 on Sunday.

"Whatever you're saying and whatever the reports are are bulls—," Jordan said, later adding, "This is just something to divide us as players and as an organization."

MORE: Clippers need peak Paul George back on a full-time basis

Jordan is a close friend of Irving, but the center said that didn't mean anything regarding the reasons for Atkinson's unexpected exit.

"I'm close to Kyrie, but Wilson (Chandler) is a new player, Garrett Temple's a new player," Jordan said. "We're all new players, so if you're going to say new players, put it on all eight of the new players."

Jordan scored 11 points and secured 15 rebounds in 29 minutes on Sunday against Chicago. Allen contributed 11 points and five boards in 19 minutes.

The Nets, who are currently without Irving and Durant due to injury, are 29-34 and occupying the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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