Jacque Vaughn will be coaching the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA playoffs down in Orlando.
He will do so while wearing the “interim coach” tag. Vaughn took over the Nets when Kenny Atkinson and Brooklyn parted ways mid-season and he’s going to keep that job through the end of Brooklyn’s playoff run.
From there, he has a “legitimate opportunity” to keep the job, Shams Charania of The Athletic said on Complex’s Load Management podcast.
“This is a guy that comes from the Spurs background, has the same pedigree as [Nets general manager] Sean Marks. As far as I know, he does a good job at working with players, building that relationship.
Vaughn will get his chance. However, much like with the exit of Atkinson, who gets the job will depend heavily on what Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving want. They were not fans of Atkinson’s offense, that he didn’t start their friend DeAndre Jordan (even though Jarrett Allen should start, he’s better), and in general the direction the team was headed at that point.
Rumors are that Irving wants to reunite with Tyron Lue, who is currently the lead assistant to Doc Rivers with the Clippers (a team expected to make a deep playoff run). Big names such as Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy also have been linked to the Nets.
First, Vaughn gets to coach this team through a restart training camp, eight seeding games, and then the playoffs to show what he can do. He has a chance to win players and management over. The Nets enter the playoffs as the seven seed but only half a game ahead of the eighth seed Magic. Make a solid showing in Orlando and it help’s Vaughn’s case.
Vaughn will get his chance, which is all any coach can ask.