December 10, 2022

Nets name assistant Jack Vaughn as head coach: Why Brooklyn moved on potential Ime Udoka hire

The Brooklyn Nets The team announced Wednesday that it will hire assistant Jack Vaughn as head coach after parting ways with Steve Nash. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Vaughn was named interim coach after Nash’s departure on November 1.
  • The 47-year-old has been on Brooklyn’s staff since 2016 and was the interim head coach in 2020 after the Nets let go of Kenny Atkinson.
  • Athletic It was previously reported that the Nets were planning to make a suspended hire Boston Celtics Coach Ime Udoka.


Nash is 94-67 in two-plus seasons and was off to a 2-5 start this year before changing teams. The decision to move on from Nash comes amid months of turmoil at the organization, including an ongoing off-the-court dispute with the star guard. Kyrie Irving He was suspended for at least five games.

Nash led Brooklyn to the Eastern Conference semifinals in his first year before ultimately falling short. NBA Champion Bucks. The Celtics were swept in the first round of the playoffs last season.

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

Vaughn went 7-3 as the Nets’ interim coach in the 2020 bubble season. Athletic At the time he said there was some internal support for him to shed the interim tag and the Nets planned to give him every opportunity to win the job. Brooklyn eventually went with Hall of Famer Nash and Vaughn as lead assistant.

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Vaughn was previously the head coach Orlando Magic From 2012-15, going 58-158. Prior to that, he was an asst San Antonio Spurs.

Prior to coaching, Vaughn had a 12-year NBA playing career as a guard. Recorded 123 starts in 776 career games and was taken 27th overall in the 1997 draft.

Why the Nets Didn’t Hire Udoka

The Nets changed course from their initial plan to hire Udoka due to several factors, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the decision said. Athletic. These factors include the Nets’ investigation of the suspended coach and the due diligence process. Irving’s indefinite suspension resulted in the team’s ability to compete in the Eastern Conference.

The Nets began direct communication about the possibility of hiring Udoka last Tuesday 24 to 48 hours before firing Nash, including getting permission from the Celtics and engaging in early discussions, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. Athletic.

Sources close to the situation say that the decision to hire Vaughn was made largely because of the buy-in from Nets players under Vaughn, once the team knew they could not proceed with the plan to hire Udoka. Van is said to have created positive energy inside the Nets locker room dealing with outside pressure. He boosted the team’s defense with a 2-2 start as interim head coach, during which the Nets climbed 10 spots from league-worst defense to No. 20 in defensive rating.

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(Photo: Kevin Jairaj/USA Today)