Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson Gives Love to Flyers, Broad Street Bullies

Philly fans shouldn't boo the visiting coach too much in this first-round playoff series between the Sixers and Nets.

They'll like his taste in hockey.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown told reporters Saturday he expected the first-round series to be a fistfight.

"A head coach of Philly saying that, it doesn't surprise me," Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson quipped.

Atkinson made the remark in appreciation for Brown and Philadelphia sports.

Where does that appreciation stem from?

Bobby Clarke, Dave Schultz and the Broad Street Bullies.

Today, I took a run along the river there, and what do you think about? You think about Philly sports and all the tradition. I was thinking when I was younger, I wasn't a huge hockey fan, but for some reason I liked the Philadelphia Flyers. They were the Broad Street Bullies and they had the enforcer and I loved Bobby Clarke with the no teeth. You don't know why as a kid, right? I'm a New York kid, Islanders were great, my brother liked the Rangers, that was probably why. 

Before the Eagles-Saints playoff matchup in January, New Orleans head coach Sean Payton, who grew up in the area, shared his appreciation for the two-time Stanley Cup-winning group (see story)

Atkinson isn't from the area and still loved the Bullies.

"You think of the great sports cities, Philly is a great sports city," the Long Island native said. "New York is too. Philly, this is special. I think of Mo Cheeks and Dr. J and Moses Malone and all those great games, great Philly teams.

"Their fans have garnered a reputation that's well-earned. I think it's great."

Much respect, Coach.

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