The Nets’ 2022-23 regular season has been anything but smooth sailing. Head coach Jacque Vaughn has been able to deal with it all, though. Brooklyn has finally rewarded him for those efforts.
Just think about all the things Vaughn has witnessed/had to deal with so far this season. He began the year as an assistant, so he watched the first Kyrie Irving debacle unfold thanks to his social media activity. Then, he watched Steve Nash lose his job as head coach. It didn’t take long for many to think the suspended Ime Udoka would take his place.
But that didn’t happen, and Vaughn was elevated to interim head coach. They soon took off the interim tag and the Nets started to win. That’s something they did frequently, too. The good vibes unfortunately didn’t last long. Kevin Durant went down with a knee injury. That was followed by Irving requesting a trade. That was closely followed by Durant doing the same, all within the span of a week before the NBA trade deadline.
And throughout all of this, Ben Simmons was…well, Ben Simmons. Vaughn’s contract status initially included a team option for next season. But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Brooklyn has rewarded him with a multi-year extension.
Jacque Vaughn had shed the interim label earlier this season with a team option on next year — and now gets extended for multiple years past the 2023-2024 season, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/YE3Txda9xF
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 21, 2023
There are probably many people satisfied this has finally happened, especially Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Here’s what Nets general manager Sean Marks had to say about it:
Statement from #Nets GM Sean Marks on Jacque Vaughn’s extension. 👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/aJahpbxkqV
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) February 21, 2023
Seriously, it’s about time. This poor dude has had to deal with so much bologna over the past few months. In many ways, his leadership is exactly what Brooklyn has needed. The Nets are 32-19 since he’s taken over. Brooklyn also joins the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers as the only three teams to have both an offensive and defensive rating in the NBA’s top 10 during this time.
This contract was well deserved for Jacque Vaughn. Among all these on-court accomplishments and the winning that’s happened, the Nets are 34-24 overall, which ranks fifth in the Eastern Conference coming out of the All-Star break. And most of all, he’s dealt with mess after mess and off-court distraction after off-court distraction. That alone is enough to warrant a contract extension.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.