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Brooklyn Nets to remove interim label from Jacque Vaughn, officially make him head coach

Initially, the Nets were close to hiring Ime Udoka after firing Steve Nash last week. They’ve since pivoted.

Brooklyn Nets v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Last week, the Brooklyn Nets fired head coach Steve Nash. In the ensuing hours, reports from both The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated Brooklyn was close to hiring suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. The Celtics suspended Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season currently because of an improper workplace relationship, which included making unwanted comments toward a female subordinate.

While the details of that hiring were being fine-tuned, Jacque Vaughn was serving as the Nets’ interim head coach. According to a report from Marc Stein, “strong voices” were urging Nets owner Joe Tsai not to hire Udoka. Presumably, those strong voices influenced Tsai enough to pivot off Udoka and keep the hire in-house. The team announced Wednesday Vaughn will become head coach and the interim title will be stripped.

“Jacque’s basketball acumen, competitiveness and intimate knowledge of our team and organization make him the clear-cut person to lead our group moving forward,” General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “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.”

Vaughn has been on Brooklyn’s coaching staff since 2016-17. He acted as interim head coach for 17 games during the 2019-20 season following head coach Kenny Atkinson’s firing. Prior to that, he accrued NBA head coaching experiencing across 2.5 seasons with the Orlando Magic. The Nets are 2-2 under Vaughn’s tutelage this year. They welcome the New York Knicks to town Wednesday night to kick off Vaughn’s official reign as lead man.

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