Jacque Vaughn is the Nets coach and by all reports, he has the confidence of the Nets GM, Sean Marks. Marks has said repeatedly that he wants to give Vaughn and his staff a chance to prove themselves. So much so that the Nets search for Kenny Atkinson’s replacement is, officially at least, on hold.
But in talking with Brian Lewis, Jalen Rose thinks the search will have to look very, very seriously at Tyronn Lue who after all 1) has taken three teams to the NBA Finals, winning once; 2) knows how to handle the more volatile of the Nets superstars and 3) reportedly wants the job.
“If I was able to hire who I wanted to hire for the Nets job next year, this is a layup: Tyronn Lue. I’d get Tyronn Lue based on the relationship [with Irving],” the ESPN analyst and 13-year NBA veteran told The Post. “He’s proven. He’s an assistant with the Clippers, probably getting a championship this year; I wouldn’t even have to think twice about that.”
It’s not that Rose doesn’t like Vaughn. Far from it. He just thinks Lue is the right man at the right time.
“I [remember] Jacque in college. I played against Jacque,” Rose said. “I like Jacque, and this isn’t personal to Jacque. [But] if I have a blank canvas of who I’m giving the job to, I’m giving it to Tyronn Lue. I’m not playing around. I don’t have years to play around.
“KD’s coming off serious injury; Giannis [Antetokounmpo] is still in the East; Boston keeps getting better, [Jayson] Tatum keeps growing; Philadelphia’s a wild card, still have [Joel] Embiid; Toronto is the defending champion; Indiana’s got [Malcolm] Brogdon and [Victor] Oladipo. I don’t have time to mess around.”
Irving’s relationship with Lue was reportedly up-and-down and his relationship with Vaughn is good. But, as Lewis notes, Vaughn’s record as a head coach in Orlando was 58-158 while Lue’s in Cleveland was 128-83. Of course, the Magic were at the beginning of a long rebuild and the Cavaliers had LeBron James as well as Irving.
“I like Jacque. He had a couple of opportunities, and I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve another,” Rose said. “But if you’re going for someone who could immediately put them in position to contend in the East along with their talent, I’d give the job to Ty Lue.
“I need somebody on the sideline that can look Kyrie eye-to-eye when he isn’t having his best day emotionally and psychologically, because — guess what? — all of us are human beings and have those days. He immediately garners the respect of your two top players.”
Rose also noted that if he were Marks and ownership, he’d bring in another Clipper assistant coach, Sam Cassell, the former New Jersey Net who’s seen as a rising star in NBA coaching ranks.
But as the Post’s other New York beat reporter noted two days back, Vaughn has one big asset: his relationship with Marks. Marc Berman wrote ...
One league source says the motivation for Marks to keep Vaughn is that the GM can have input with him. The two go back to their San Antonio days when Marks was an executive there and Vaughn was an assistant coach from 2010-12.
And as both Berman and Adrian Wojnarowski have noted, Vaughn did not have “interim’’ formally placed in his title like other replacement coaches, including the Knicks’ Mike Miller, did. Jacque Vaughn is the Nets head coach.
Of course, he has a big liability as well, noted Berman. He’s going into the seeding games with a roster that the word depleted doesn’t begin to describe how bad things are.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that despite the wide net cast by the Knicks in their own coaching search, Lue’s name never showed up in speculation.
- Jalen Rose thinks Tyronn Lue is man for Nets coaching job - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Jacque Vaughn’s audition as Nets coach is far from ideal - Marc Berman - New York Post