Kansas basketball alum Jacque Vaughn has been named as the interim head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA.
Kansas basketball alum Jacque Vaughn has been coaching in the NBA since his own professional career ended in 2009. He was an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs before getting a head coaching job with the Orlando Magic in 2012. That didn’t work out, but Vaughn rebounded by becoming an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets in 2016.
Earlier today, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and the organization “mutually agreed that a coaching change would be in the best interest of the team,” and Jacque Vaughn was named as interim head coach for the duration of the season.
This is a huge opportunity for Vaughn to advance his coaching career in the NBA.
As of now, Brooklyn is 28-34 on the season, which puts them at seventh place in the extremely weak Eastern Conference. The Nets could make the playoffs this season, but they would end up having to face probably Boston or Toronto, which would be tough.
That gives Vaughn a chance to shine and maybe get more out of the Nets than what people think is possible. Brooklyn does have a decent core in Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen, who Kansas basketball fans may remember as being a Texas Longhorn.
If Vaughn can make it through this season and become the team’s permanent head coach, he’d have a chance to get both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back. That’d probably be enough to make the Nets a contender in the East and give Vaughn a chance to win another NBA ring, this time as a coach.
While a Kansas basketball player, Vaughn displayed his intelligence in the classroom as well as the court. He was a multiyear academic All-American, and also the Big 8’s all-time assist leader when he finished his career as a Jayhawk.
Vaughn’s basketball savvy has paid off so far in the NBA, and now, he’ll get another chance to run a team and become a top coach in the league.