Apparently the Brooklyn Nets had a change of heart with their head coaching position. After parting ways with Steve Nash, it was widely reported that the Nets work zeroing in on hiring Ime Udoka as their head coach and that the Celtics would not stand in the way or request compensation.
Now we are getting official word from the team that they have removed the “interim” tag from Jacque Vaughn’s title and hiring him as a full time head coach of the team.
“Jacque’s basketball acumen, competitiveness and intimate knowledge of our team and organization make him the clear-cut best person to lead our group moving forward,” said General Manager Sean Marks. “He has a proven ability to get the best out of our players, hold them accountable and play a cohesive, team-first style of basketball.”
Woj reports that the deal comes with a 2 year commitment from the team.
Jacque Vaughn’s promotion to Brooklyn Nets coach comes with a deal through the 2023-2024 season, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 9, 2022
While that is by no means a long term commitment (coaches get fired with years left on their deals all the time), it does indicate at least a short term moving on from the plan to hire Ime Udoka.
Reports surfaced that the Nets were hesitant to add Udoka to an already volatile mix and it appears that caution won out. It is a pretty low bar to praise them for not making yet another PR mistake (not to mention the message it would have sent to female staffers), but here we are.
As for what this means to the Boston Celtics, nothing really changes. Udoka is still officially a member of the Celtics, still suspended for the year, and still expected to not be part of the team’s long term plans. I would expect that at some point Udoka and the team will move on from each other, but it may require some legal hurdles and/or some kind of financial agreement to take place first.
It appears that Joe Mazzulla has the support and backing of the team as their head coach moving forward, but we’ll have to wait on the team giving him that official title.