Nets Fire Jacque Vaughn

The Nets have dismissed head coach Jacque Vaughn, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The organization made a formal announcement of the move in a press release, stating that an interim coach will be appointed soon.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we feel is in the best interest of the team going forward,” general manager Sean Marks stated. “Jacque has represented this organization with exemplary character and class for the past eight years. The consistent positivity and passion he poured into our team daily will remain with the players and staff he interacted with throughout his tenure. We thank Jacque for all he has done for the Nets and the borough of Brooklyn, and wish him, Laura and their family nothing but the best in the future.” 

The move comes in the wake of a 50-point loss to Boston last Wednesday that left the team with a disappointing 21-33 record at the All-Star break. Because Brooklyn doesn’t own its first-round pick in this year’s draft, management was hoping to be more competitive, but the Nets will need a strong finish to the season just to reach the play-in tournament.

Brooklyn has dropped 18 of its last 24 games, and players lost confidence in Vaughn as the losses piled up, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY (Twitter link). Management is hoping to land a star player this summer to build around, and there were concerns that keeping Vaughn as head coach might impede that effort, according to Begley’s sources.

There’s no immediate word on who the interim coach might be, but Brian Lewis of the New York Post suggests current assistant Kevin Ollie (Twitter link). Ollie, who won an NCAA championship at Connecticut, joined Brooklyn’s staff at the start of this season after coaching two years with Overtime Elite.

Lewis notes that Marks will hire his third coach in his eight years as GM, but this will be the team’s first extensive search since 2016 (Twitter link). Vaughn was promoted after taking over for Steve Nash on an interim basis in November of 2022, and Nash was selected because of his relationship with the team’s former stars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

An assistant with the Nets dating back to the 2016/17 season, Vaughn compiled a 71-68 record as the team’s head coach, including 10 games on an interim basis during the 2019/2020 season. He also spent two-and-a-half seasons as head coach in Orlando and holds a 129-226 career record.

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