Brooklyn Nets: Does Jacque Vaughn have a chance?

Jacque Vaughn Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Jacque Vaughn Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

With the Brooklyn Nets in the market for a new head coach, does their current interim have a chance at landing the full-time gig?

It’s no secret, the Brooklyn Nets’ immediate future is centered around winning an NBA title and flooding the streets of their respective borough in jubilation with their fans once such is achieved. But that is easier said than done, even with star talent. That’s why it’s so important that they really hit a home run with who they decide to hire next to direct the team.

Brian Windhorst, on his podcast, Brian Windhorst and the Hoop Collective, provided insight on what the Nets are looking for in their search for a new head coach.

"“One of the things that has been expressed sort of the grapevine, that’s the way I’m going to say it to protect myself from the aggregators, is that Durant and Irving would like a blue-chip coach. I don’t know what this says about the way they thought about Atkinson, but they want a big-name coach.”"

So, does Jacque Vaughn fit the bill? There’s a short and long answer to such a question: a resounding no, no he does not.

He’s stacking up a rather impressive resume in his second career in the league, and I’d be genuinely surprised if he never gets to taste action as an NBA head coach again. But his lack of experience doesn’t complement the personnel on the floor. Furthermore, he just doesn’t fit the description of a “big name” coach.

The Vaughn era in Brooklyn was off to a hot start before the league indefinitely suspended operations due to COVID-19, but it was also just two games. One of which was against the Los Angeles Lakers—in Staples Center no less—but still, two games. 

The 45-year-old and former first-round draft pick back in 1997 does hail from the most prestigious coaching academy in the association, aka the San Antonio Spurs, and has served well as an assistant under Kenny Atkinson for the previous three-plus seasons, but his most recent stint under center wasn’t exactly stellar.

Warranted, he was dealt an unfavorable card with the Orlando Magic for nearly two-and-a-half seasons, but his presence didn’t help reverse the team’s misfortune either.

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This new era of Nets basketball doesn’t fit his timeline as an NBA coach and vice versa; the team needs someone of prominence in the league that can walk the fine line between being a reputable voice in the locker room while also appeasing the superstars—only a select few are capable of doing such with grace and elegance. Unfortunately, that’s just not Jacque Vaughn.