The Brooklyn Nets have officially announced Jacque Vaughn as their new head coach today, after much speculation that they were going to hire disgraced Celtics coach Ime Udoka.
“Jacque’s basketball acumen, competitiveness and intimate knowledge of our team and organization make him the clear-cut best person to lead our group moving forward,” General Manager Sean Marks said on Wednesday. “He has a proven ability to get the best out of our players, hold them accountable and play a cohesive, team-first style of basketball.”
The hire will cause the least disruption to the players, considering Vaughn’s been the assistant coach for the last seven seasons and been serving as the interim coach since November 1st, when former head coach Steve Nash was let go.
It wasn’t the first time Vaughn has been an interim for the team, after he served as head coach for a ten-game regular season stint in 2019-20 season when they parted ways with Kenny Atkinson.
In the 2022-23 games when Nash was at the helm, Brooklyn only managed to win 2-5 and since Vaughn’s interim tenure, the team has gone 2-2.
The Athletic reported that “…the decision to hire Vaughn was made largely in part due to the buy-in from Nets players under Vaughn… .Vaughn is said to have created positive energy inside a Nets locker room dealing with external stress.”
The decision came after the team changed their initial plan to hire Udoka when several issues arose, such as the due diligence and investigation process to hire him taking longer than expected and the team’s ability to compete and be a genuine contender without Kyrie Irving.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the promotion comes with a deal through the 2023-24 season.
Like many other coaches in the NBA, Vaughn enjoyed a 12-year playing career spanning 776 games with the Jazz (1997-2001), Hawks (2001-02, 2003-04), Magic (2002-03), Nets (2004-06) and Spurs (2006-09). He will face his first test today when the Nets play the Knicks at Barclays Center.