Nets name assistant Jacque Vaughn, head coach: Why Brooklyn left potential hire Ime Udoka

The brooklyn nets are hiring assistant Jacque Vaughn as head coach after parting ways with Steve Nash, the team announced Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Vaughn was named interim coach after Nash left Nov. 1.
  • The 47-year-old has been on the Brooklyn staff since 2016 and was previously interim head coach after the Nets let Kenny Atkinson go in 2020.
  • Athleticism previously reported that the Nets plan to hire suspended individuals Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka.


Nash was 94-67 in two-plus seasons and was off to a 2-5 start this year before the team made a switch. The decision to leave Nash came amid months of organizational turmoil, including an ongoing out-of-court controversy with the star keeper. Kyrie Irving which resulted in his suspension for at least five games.

Nash led Brooklyn to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in his first year before losing to the eventual NBA champion deer. Last season, the Nets were swept by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

The Nets’ announced plan to hire Udoka drew criticism because in September Boston suspended the coach for the 2022-23 season due to his intimate relationship with a female member of the Celtics organization, Athleticism reported.

Vaughn went 7-3 as the Nets’ interim coach during the 2020 bubble season. Athleticism reported at the time that he had internal support to get rid of the interim tag and that the Nets planned to give him every chance to win the job. Brooklyn eventually went with Hall of Famer Nash, and Vaughn stayed on as a senior assistant.


A bubble and bamboo: how Jacque Vaughn hopes to coach Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant

Vaughn was previously the head coach of Orlando Magic from 2012 to 2015, going from 58 to 158. Before that, he was an assistant at the San Antonio Spurs.

Before coaching, Vaughn had a 12-year career in the NBA as a guard. He was the 27th pick in the 1997 draft, recording 123 starts in 776 career games.

Why the Nets didn’t hire Udoka

The Nets changed course from their original plan to hire Udoka due to several factors, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making said. Athleticism. These factors include an investigation and due diligence process by the Nets into the suspended coach which took longer than originally anticipated, the outcry after news of their plan broke from people outside and inside inside the organization and the short- and long-term question marks surrounding the team’s ability to compete in the Eastern Conference following Irving’s indefinite suspension.

The Nets began communicating directly about the possibility of signing Udoka 24 to 48 hours before the franchise fired Nash last Tuesday, including receiving clearance from the Celtics and engaging in initial discussions, multiple sources familiar with the news said. talks. Athleticism.

Once it became clear to the team that they could not proceed with Udoka’s hiring plan, the decision to hire Vaughn was made largely due to buy-in from Nets players. under Vaughn, according to sources close to the situation. Vaughn reportedly created positive energy inside a Nets locker room in the face of external stress. He also lifted the team’s defense with a 2-2 start as interim head coach, during which the Nets went from the league’s worst defense at 10 spots to No. 20 in the standings. defensive.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Nets general manager Sean Marks declined to go into detail as to why the Nets did not hire Udoka.

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(Photo: Kevin Jairaj/USA Today)

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