No stranger to drama lately, the Nets have avoided a long search for training and made the quick decision to hire a familiar.
The team appointed long-time Nets assistant Jack Vaughn as head coach on Wednesday to replace Steve Nash, who was launched last week. Vaughn has coached the team temporarily in the four games since then.
Von took over at a particularly difficult time for the organization, whose star was the Guardian Kyrie Irving posted a link to an antisemitic movie On Twitter in late October. The Nets suspended Irving indefinitely for refusing to repudiate anti-Semitism. He has missed three games, and the team said he will miss at least two more.
“Finding someone with some stability, that’s the joint venture,” said Sean Marks, Nets general manager. “Very stable, under pressure. a respectful person. That’s kind of his identity.”
Before Wednesday’s game against the Knicks, Vaughn met reporters and smiled a bright smile. In answering a question, he referred to rumors circulating last week that the Nets had selected Boston Celtics coach Amy Odoka, who has been suspended from the current season, to replace Nash.
“I think I was the book candidate,” Vaughn said with a laugh. He added, “I’m OK with that. I told my wife, I might not have been her first choice and we’ve been together for 20 years. So, you know, everything can work out. We have to go back.”
Vaughn has been the Nets’ assistant coach since 2016 and served as interim head coach in 2020 after that Kenny Atkinson has been sacked as coach. The Nets considered him to replace Atkinson but eventually hired Nash, and Vaughn remained on Nash’s crew.
On Wednesday, Marks praised Vaughn for stepping in, once again, as interim coach. This time, Marx saw enough of him to give him an injection on a permanent basis.
The Nets scored 2-2 under Vaughn ahead of Wednesday’s game, and Marks said he loved the energy surrounding the team during those four games.
“We’re looking at the big picture here and we have a relationship with him for seven years, his relationship with the players, his competitive spirit, a lot of that goes a long way,” Marks said. “We see how this team has responded to it recently, quite frankly.”
Vaughn said he has not contacted Irving since his suspension on Thursday.
“I thought in the capacity I was serving, it wasn’t my place,” Vaughn said. “I have always understood my limitations as an assistant coach. That could change in the future in the situation I am in now.”
Marks said he hasn’t spoken to Irving since Thursday either, but he didn’t explain why he hadn’t.
The team announced on November 1 that they had agreed to separate from Nash. Soon, news media reports began linking the nets to Odoka, who was Suspended by Celtics in September for violating unspecified team policies. According to two people familiar with the situation who were not allowed to talk about it publicly, Odoka had an affair with a subordinate.
When Marx was asked specifically why he had not appointed Udoka, he said it would not be appropriate to discuss the candidates considered. The Celtics have given Udoka permission to speak to other teams and will not claim compensation if another team signs him up, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Nash initially had the support of Irving and striker Kevin Durant when he was Hired in 2020 With no previous training experience. But he oversaw a chaotic period in the series that included: Irving missed most of the 2021-22 season due to He will not be vaccinated against the Corona virus; injuries to Durant and Ben Simmons; And James Harden is being traded To the window from Houston – and then To Philadelphia from the Nets Where the team struggled last season.
this summer, The Athletic newspaper reported Durant has asked team owner Joe Tsai to choose between him or Marks and Nash. Nash, Marks, and Durant all said at a media day in September that they were Ready to move together.
And healthy again to start this season, the Nets continued to struggle. They started the year 2-5 before Nash was shot. Marks said players had “zero” involvement in the decision and that he and Nash felt “it was time”.
“If I sit here and list one by one all the things he has had to go through during his time here, I will hurt him because he doesn’t want an excuse,” said Marx. “That’s not what he is. So, he definitely hasn’t had an even playing field over two years here. And for that, I definitely feel some responsibility because that doesn’t fall entirely on him.”
Vaughn began his journey in the NBA as a player, with a 12-year career that included two seasons with the Nets. He won a championship as part of the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.
San Antonio was where his football career ended and his coaching career began. He was assistant coach Greg Popovich for two seasons before he appointed the Orlando Magic Phone as their head coach in July 2012.
The magic began to rebuild. They traded All-Star Center Dwight Howard that summer, then went 20-62 in Vaughn’s first season. That was the worst record in the NBA, and the following year he was a bit better at 23-59. After a 15-37 start to the 2014-15 season, the Magic Phone was fired.
He joined the Atkinson Nets in the summer of 2016. The Nets fired the Atkinson on March 7, 2020, less than a week before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the NBA resumed the season in a bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Florida that summer, Vaughn coached the team to a record 5-3 in mini-games and then lost to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
“I was a young coach,” Vaughn said. “I am definitely happy to have taken on this job. It has made me a better assistant coach.” He added, “I just grew up as an individual. Much safer in myself, as you can see with that beard here.”