NEW YORK (AP) — Jacque Vaughn knew, as he moved into Steve Nash’s seat, that he would possibly simply be protecting him heat for Ime Udoka.
The Brooklyn Nets had been anticipated to signal the suspended Boston Celtics head coach to his job, maybe after Vaughn solely had him for one recreation. As an alternative, the Nets selected Wednesday to provide Vaughn the job.
“I feel I used to be, what is that this, the candidate inscribed in election minds proper now, however I am positive with that,” Vaughn joked. “I instructed my spouse, I won’t have been her first alternative and we have been collectively for 20 years, so something might work out. Then let’s go.”
Vaughn has been 2-2 as interim head coach for the reason that Nets and Nash parted methods on November 1. His first recreation as head coach was a 112-85 rout of the New York Knicks on Wednesday night time.
“I do know the work he does day-after-day,” mentioned Nets star Kevin Durant. “I understand how a lot he cares concerning the improvement of every participant and this group as an entire, and I look ahead to taking part in for him. All the fellows responded how he desires us to play.”
This response led Basic Supervisor Sean Marks to imagine that the fitting candidate was already in Brooklyn.
“Over the course of this previous week, these final 4 video games, it is grow to be obvious that we did not must look wherever else,” Marks mentioned.
Nonetheless, it was believed that they did, and maybe they already had.
A particular second for Coach JV 👏 pic.twitter.com/N1vuloWi3K
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 10, 2022
After leaving Nash, the Nets had discussions with Udoka, who together with Vaughn had been an assistant to the Nets earlier than taking over the Boston position. He led the Celtics to final season’s NBA Finals however was suspended at the least this season for violating group guidelines for having a relationship with an worker of the group.
However the Nets determined to not go that route, maybe reluctant to obtain extra damaging consideration as they grappled with the fallout from Kyrie Irving’s resolution to publish a hyperlink to a movie with anti-Semitic materials on his Twitter web page.
Marks mentioned it was inappropriate to debate who the opposite candidates had been in a training search.
“Like all different searches, all I can say is that there was an exhaustive search and we went by means of candidates and we’ll depart it at that,” Marks mentioned.
Irving served the fourth recreation of what’s going to be a suspension of at the least 5 video games with out pay on Wednesday that the group gave him for refusing to say he had no anti-Semitic beliefs. There was a bunch of protesters outdoors the Barclays Middle chanting concerning the second Marks was talking.
Marks mentioned he hasn’t spoken to Irving, solely his representatives. Neither does Vaughn, however possibly he’ll strive.
“I assumed the power to serve wasn’t my job,” Vaughn mentioned. “I’ve all the time understood my limits as an assistant coach. That would change from right here on out within the place I am in proper now.”
Vaughn is in his seventh season as an assistant to the Nets. He changed Kenny Atkinson on an interim foundation in March 2020, shortly earlier than the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and coached Brooklyn throughout the season restart at Walt Disney World.
Vaughn went 7-3 in 10 video games and led the Nets to the primary spherical of the playoffs, even with out injured Durant and Irving, in addition to different key gamers who didn’t be part of them for the restart.
The Nets then employed Nash, though he had no teaching expertise, and stored Vaughn as an assistant. Nash led Brooklyn to the playoffs in every of his two full seasons, however the group made a change after beginning 2-5.
Marks mentioned the transfer was made as a result of the Nets did not dwell as much as his expectations, however confirmed enchancment underneath Vaughn. After shedding at residence to Chicago within the first recreation, Brooklyn received away video games in Washington and Charlotte on back-to-back nights earlier than a 96-94 loss in Dallas on Monday.
Vaughn went 58-158 with the 2012-15 Orlando Magic in his solely earlier teaching stint.