Report: Nets failed to name head coach Ime Udoka following public ‘outcry’, more factors | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors
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The Brooklyn Nets reportedly had an interest in hiring suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka to replace Steve Nash and fill the team’s head coaching position.
But a number of factors led the Nets to bypass Udoka and hire instead Nash’s assistant Jacque Vaughn for the role, according to a report from Shams Charania and The Athletic:
“The Nets changed course from their original plan to hire Udoka due to several factors, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making told The Athletic. These factors include an investigation and due diligence process. reasonable by the Nets over the suspended coach taking longer than originally expected, the outcry after their plan was announced became known to people outside and inside the organization and question marks short term and long term around the team’s ability to compete in the Eastern Conference following Kyrie Irving’s indefinite suspension.”
Vaughn, 47, had served as interim head coach since Brooklyn fired Nash last week and also served in that role in 2020 following the departure of Kenny Atkinson. However, rumors persisted that the Nets had eyes for Udoka.
According to The Athletic, the Nets “began communicating directly about the possibility of hiring Udoka 24 to 48 hours before the franchise fired Nash last Tuesday, including receiving clearance from the Celtics and engaging in initial discussions.”
It would have been a controversial hire. Boston suspended Udoka for the 2022-23 season after he became romantically involved with a female member of the organization.
“I want to apologize to our players, our fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said in a statement to ESPN’s Malika Andrews in September. “I’m sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
The Celtics replaced Udoka for the season with assistant Joe Mazzulla.
Vaughn, who has been on the Nets coaching staff for six seasons, inherits a changing team.
Brookly suspended Irving after he promoted an anti-Semitic video on Twitter and did not initially apologize for his actions. He is suspended for at least five games without pay, the Nets said he is “currently unfit to be associated” with the team, and must follow a “series of objective corrective measures that address the impact wrongful conduct” before he can return.
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Sources: The Nets provided Kyrie Irving with six items he must complete to return to the team:
– Apology/condemnation movie
– $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes
– Sensitivity training
– Antisemitic training
– Meet the ADL and Jewish leaders
– Meet Joe Tsai to demonstrate your understanding
The Nets only started 4-7. While Kevin Durant played well, the team’s third key player, Ben Simmons, struggled while on the pitch and missed four games with left knee pain.
Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Ben Simmons if he will have to manage his knee in the future: “As an athlete, your whole body, you have to manage, even with my back, something that I continue to work on. Coming back, there will be different quirks like that with my body that I have to maintain and stay on top.” #Nets
Add Durant’s trade request over the summer and Irving’s uncertain future as free agency this summer, and the Nets have been a constant source of drama.
Hiring Udoka would have intensified the spotlight on the team. Instead, the Nets stuck with Vaughn, seemingly in an effort to avoid further controversy.