Steve Nash is now officially the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, but Jacque Vaughn deserves so much more than just being an assistant. He deserves a real shot at a head coaching job in the NBA. He proved that during his stint as the interim coach for the Brooklyn Nets.
Vaughn took over for the Nets after they fired Kenny Atkinson when they barely had a team put together. Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan both sat out of the NBA’s bubble. They also lost players they signed to replace them in Michael Beasley and Jamal Crawford. Their roster was just incredibly thin.
Vaughn coached the Nets to a 7-3 record, including a 5-3 stint with a short roster in the NBA’s bubble, and the Nets held their playoff position. Still, somehow, it wasn’t enough to land him the Nets head coaching job.
Vaughn reportedly made a “strong impression” on the Nets, but not strong enough to get him the job, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports
Vaughn made a strong impression on Tsai and Marks after taking over for Kenny Atkinson in February, including during the league’s restart in Orlando, Florida. He likely would’ve been the Nets’ choice had Nash been unconvinced of taking the job, sources said.
This, apparently, is what a decade of coaching experience gets you in the NBA. A lead assistant job.
Nash comes in from a stint as a consultant with the Warriors and lands a job immediately after turning multiple jobs down over the years. It’s just all indicative of a bigger picture within the NBA for Black head coaching candidates.
Here’s the hard truth on that, from GMIB author Tom Ziller. Make of it what you will.
Yes, there’s a simple way to break this down. Nash is friends with Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant wanted Steve Nash, so that’s the move the Nets made. That can also be true.
And Nash might do a good job! He could be a good head coach. But there were plenty of other coaches who could be just as good, if not better. Jacque Vaughn is on that list.
Hopefully, at some point, he’ll find another chance down the line.