The Nets will not be pulling scandal double-duty after all.
Brooklyn named Jacque Vaughn its permanent head coach on Wednesday, hours before the Nets host the Knicks at Barclays Center. Vaughn is 2-2 at the helm so far after replacing the fired Steve Nash. Vaughn was also the team’s interim coach in the 2020 bubble.
Vaughn’s promotion means the Nets will not be following through with their initial post-Nash plan to hire disgraced and suspended Celtics coach Ime Udoka. Udoka, a former Nets assistant, is not coaching this year after Boston sidelined him after an inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate and accusations of sexual harassment. ESPN had reported Udoka’s hire was imminent following Nash’s exit. But more recent reporting indicated Nets owner Joseph Tsai was having second thoughts as unspecified “strong voices” urged him not to hire Udoka.
That hiring Udoka was ever on the table is inexplicable. Especially after completely failing to adequately address Kyrie Irving’s promotion of an antisemitic film and the subsequent fallout. But now the Nets can at least argue they are not completely morally bankrupt. So good for them.
If Irving ever does return to the team, it will be interesting to see if he listens to Vaughn. From earlier:
The now-suspended Kyrie Irving allegedly went to comical lengths to undermine his former head coach. From The Post:
In the Nets’ Oct. 29 loss to the Pacers — one of the last games before Kyrie Irving was suspended — the All-Star guard didn’t just wave off the play called by then-coach Steve Nash. On 10 separate occasions, Nash called a specific play and the scout watched Irving do something entirely different.
That wasn’t simple creativity, something to be expected from the uniquely electrifying All-Star. No, it was double-digit defiance.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” the scout told The Post. “Nash would call something, and he’d run the opposite. I’ve never seen anything like that.”
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