Kevin Ollie name-drops Jacque Vaughn following first win as Nets coach

Brooklyn Nets v Minnesota Timberwolves
Brooklyn Nets v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

Monday evening, Kevin Ollie earned his first win as interim head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, downing the Memphis Grizzlies in front of a packed crowd at FedEx Forum by a final score of 111-86.

A beautiful display of two-way basketball, the Nets were able to put on an absolute clinic on offense, cashing in on nearly 50 percent of their attempts from the field (48.9) and saw seven players drop double-digit scoring performances all while remaining dominant on the defensive end where they collected 5 blocks (3 of which came from Nic Claxton alone) and held the Grizzlies to a mere 38.7 percent shooting from the floor.

A hard-fought victory that Mikal Bridges hinted was due to the club's new defensive mentality with the coaching shakeup, following the outing Ollie discussed his gratefulness to the organization as a whole for his new-found opportunity on the sidelines, and credited ex-Nets coach Jacque Vaughn as being a major reason for why he wound up in Brooklyn in the first place.

Kevin Ollie shouts out Jacque Vaughn following first win as Nets coach

"I just want to say thank you to Jacque, because I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him believing in me, bringing me in with no [NBA] coaching experience [and] with no interview or anything. I was like 'Jacque, I want to fly up and interview' and he was like 'Nah you don't need to interview. I believe in you, I know where you're from, I know your character, I know what you've built.' I just want to say thank him because I owe it all to him."

Kevin Ollie

With their new on-court agenda shift that seems to consist of more steady offensive sets (Dennis Schroder seems to be Ollie's go-to floor general at the moment) and an emphasis on defensive intensity, the Nets were able to dominate the game on both ends and wound up outscoring Memphis 26-9 in fastbreak points, an area the team has struggled in throughout the season thus far.

Hopefully Ollie and company can use this momentum from Monday to collect their second string of consecutive wins of 2024 during their upcoming Thursday night bout against the Orlando Magic.