The Nets are firing Jacque Vaughn less than a year after a multi-year contract extension

The Brooklyn Nets announced on Monday that they have fired their coach, Jack Vaughn, after starting the season 21-33. Vaughn has coached the Nets in 129 games in this current period, leading the team to a 64-65 record.

Entering the All-Star break, the Nets sit in 11th place in the East. They ranked 21st in points scored and 16th in points allowed per game.

Vaughn, a former Nets assistant coach, was promoted to interim head coach on November 1, 2022, after the team parted ways with Steve Nash. He was named permanent coach about a week later, then signed a multi-year contract extension on February 21, 2023.

From November 1 to February 21, Vaughn led the Nets to the fifth-best record in the league, including a 12-1 record in December 2022. But by the end of the season, the team had traded away its All-Stars. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, focusing on a rebuilding period built around newly acquired forward Mikal Bridges.

Vaughn previously coached the Nets for 10 games as interim head coach in 2020 following the midseason departure of Kenny Atkinson.

This marks the second chapter of Vaughn's career in February, as he was relieved of his duties by the Orlando Magic on February 5, 2015. Vaughn had coached Orlando the previous two years, earning a 58-158 record.

Vaughn got his coaching start with the San Antonio Spurs, where he joined Gregg Popovich's staff in 2010 as an assistant coach. Vaughn finished his playing career with the Spurs in 2009, ending a 12-year career that previously featured stops with the Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Magic and Nets.

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Why fire him now?

The timing of Vaughn's dismissal certainly came as a surprise. Objectively speaking, the Nets are not having a bad season. They are just 2.5 games back of the Hawks for the No. 10 seed, so a Play-In Championship looms on the horizon during a year in which they have been trying to find a new balance. But the nets are still a bit loose. They have lost 18 of their last 24 games since hitting .500 on December 26th. Vaughn's appeal in the locker room may also have diminished. League sources said that he had lost his popularity among some players.

Now, the Nets will transition to their third coach in 17 months and the organization has yet to hire an interim coach. They hired Kevin Ollie and Will Weaver this offseason. Ollie won a national championship as head coach at UConn. Weaver has been a head coach in Australia and France and has interviewed for head coaching jobs in the NBA. He won the G League Coach of the Year award to coach the Long Island Nets. — Mike Vorkunov, NBA national business correspondent

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(Photo: Sarah Steer/Getty Images)

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