Latest Nets Move Could Mean End of Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn: Insider

Jacque Vaughn

Getty Interim head coach Jacque Vaughn of the Brooklyn Nets looks on in the first quarter during their game against the Charlotte Hornets

The Brooklyn Nets were expected to hire Ime Udoka to be their new head coach following their firing of Steve Nash. Udoka is currently serving a year-long suspension as the coach of the Boston Celtics after breaking team rules and having a relationship with a subordinate within the organization. Udoka was expected to take over in the days following Adrian Wojnarowski’s report, but some ‘strong voices’ within the Nets organization urged the team to rethink the hiring of Udoka, and the team announced on November 9, that interim Jacque Vaughn would be upgraded to be the team’s head coach. 

“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 of the Vaughn hiring on November 9 via NetsDaily.

Could Jacque Vaughn Hiring Mean Something More for the Nets?

While Vaughn has become the new head coach of the Nets, does that send a bigger picture about the direction of the program? On the recent episode of ‘Basketball Illuminati‘ with NBA insiders Tom Haberstroh and Amin Elhassan, they discussed how Udoka not yet being hired by the organization could be a sign that the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving coupling could be coming to an end in Brooklyn. This was before the Nets announced their decision to upgrade Vaughn to the team’s head coaching position.

“What if it’s someone saying, ‘Why are we gonna go through with Ime Udoka, who is very much KD’s guy?’ We reported here on this show that there was a report from Shams in August about KD’s trade demand and at the very bottom of the article was a little hint that he was very very high on Ime Udoka. So, maybe this is actually a different thing happening that is ‘Why are you going to get KD’s guy if KD’s not going to be hear anymore?’ What if Joe Tsai is now rethinking this whole thing and saying, ‘Why are we forcing this? This team is like 13-16 over the last two years with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Uniform.’ So I’m just saying keep your third eye open about whether Ime Udoka is in the holding pattern as things quiet down…or if this is a sign that they may be willing to part with KD?” Haberstroh said. 

The Shams Charania reporting that linked Udoka to the Nets in August when Durant gave the team an ultimatum to fire Sean Marks and Steve Nash to keep him read: 

“Durant has grown close with Boston coach Ime Udoka in recent years after Udoka spent a year with Durant as an assistant in Brooklyn and later with Team USA for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Charania wrote

Kevin Durant on Jacque Vaughn Hiring

While reports suggest that Udoka was Durant’s first choice in a head coach, Durant has publicly supported the team’s decision to hire Vaughn permanently. 

“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.


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