Kevin Durant Breaks Silence on Nets Hiring Jacque Vaughan as Head Coach

Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Brooklyn Nets and former head coach Steve Nash mutually agreed to part ways on November 1 after a sluggish start to the season. After his firing, the Nets named Jacque Vaughan interim head coach of the team while the front office looked for a candidate to serve as Nash’s full-time replacement.

But on November 9, the Nets shocked everyone when they announced Vaughan would be the full-time head coach moving forward and offered him a contract that runs through the 2023-24 season.

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Durant Sounds off on Jacque Vaughan Hire

Vaughan is now the third head coach the Nets have had since 2019. He has gotten off to a good start in his first game as full-time head coach with a blowout win over their crosstown rival New York Knicks. Vaughan already has more wins than Nash this year.

As they look to salvage the season, Kevin Durant sounded off on the front office’s decision to make Vaughan’s interim position a permanent one.

“I was excited for him; I know the work that he puts in every day. I know how much he cares about the development of each player and this team as a whole. Look forward to playing for him. All the guys have responded to how he wants us to play, so I’m looking forward to how we progress after this,” Durant said after the Nets’ win over the Knicks via SNY.

“We were struggling, we’ve been through a lot. Guys got pride, individual pride, and we just wanted to come out and play better. That’s what we’ve been doing,” he added. “We don’t want this to be a honeymoon stage for us, we want to continue to keep pushing through, keep finding ways to get better, finding ways to turn those weaknesses into strengths, and keep pushing from here.”

Marks Details Process Behind Vaughan Hiring

One name that continuously was linked to the Nets’ head coaching job was Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. But after already suspending their star point guard Kyrie Irving for his decision to share an anti-Semitic film, adding Udoka, who was suspended by the Celtics for having an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member, would have made the situation in Brooklyn much more volatile.

But under the leadership of Vaughn, the Nets are just two games under .500 and appear to be taking the correct steps to become a contender again. Nets general manager Sean Marks called Vaughan the ‘catalyst’ of the Nets’ recent rally.

“Personally, I like the way the team has been playing. I mean, they’ve been competing at a high level, but they’ve obviously rallied around each other. You know, they’ve rallied around the coaching staff, they’ve rallied around JV. He’s been the catalyst for that. So, I’ve got to give him credit,” Marks said on November 9 via NetsDaily.

“I think he’s shown us that they’ve taken the right steps on the way, and they continue to show improvement and again, it’s just I look at the camaraderie that the players have shown, you know, they’re having fun, they’re enjoying each other and they’re competing at a high level.”

The Nets will have a chance to build on that momentum in their next game against the Los Angeles Clippers.