Kevin Durant reiterates praise of Nets coach Jacque Vaughn

Brooklyn Nets coach Jacque Vaughn speaks during a press conference before an NBA basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh

Kevin Durant expressed his excitement for Jacque Vaughn when the Nets announced he would take over the full-time coaching duties last week, and the Nets superstar discussed it further during an episode of the recently released episode of The ETCs. 

“I think he was due for an opportunity here. Not just any head coaching job, but I felt like here,” Durant said during the interview. “If the spot was gonna come open, I felt like he was the guy because he paid his dues, knows the players, seen the guys come in and out, tight relationship with the front office. I think he can connect with the players a little easier because it’s hard to transition a new guy midway through the season, early in the season like this, so I felt like just for the continuity purposes it was good for us to stick with Jacque.

“And I’m happy for him, he deserves this opportunity. Great basketball mind, great team builder, great leader of men. So I’m looking forward to building.”

Vaughn has seemed to tap into something with the Nets since he took over. He was given the interim tag after the organization parted ways with Steve Nash and coached Brooklyn to a 4-3 record between his time as the acting head coach and since he was given the position permanently.

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The new coach also has the team playing at a +10.1 net rating, which is the best in the NBA through their last seven games. Brooklyn’s 101.5 defensive rating is also the best in the league in during that timeframe and highlights what Vaughn has been able to get out of his team since then.

The Nets will wrap up a four-game round trip out west before they return to Brooklyn. They’ll square off with the Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers before returning to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.