Next NBA Season Update: Strong Candidates For Head Coach

Author: Mansi


The Brooklyn Nets head coach job is up for grabs after Kenny Atkinson was fired despite setting them up for the playoffs. It’s hard to understand the reasoning behind this, but we can look at who will be the new head coach.

The Players Get To Pick

Let us be honest, we know that many leagues, including the NBA, take their superstars’ opinions into account while making management decisions. Take LeBron and co. for example, they are essentially influencing the general manager with any of his decisions. This makes some sense, given that the team’s top players should be agreeable with whoever decides to coach them. If they don’t, you can write off the team’s chances of making it anywhere that season. That is why Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s opinions will matter when it comes to head coach.

The Nets general manager Sean Marks has released a statement that the players will be made a part of the process as it makes no sense to leave them out. It is likely they were spoken to before their ex-head coach was removed. While it would be speculative to say they got him removed, it is right to say they have the power to keep him in or get him out. While we don’t know what KD and Kyrie are thinking of, rumors have it that Durant wants Mark Jackson as the next coach. 

Is it possible to get Mark Jackson?

Mark Jackson is what great coaches are made of if you consider his coaching ability as a standalone. But he has a lot of baggage which makes hiring him incredibly challenging. He was fired as the head coach of the Warriors for various reasons, most importantly that it wasn’t because he wasn’t an able coach. His entanglement there has left him without a job for the past 6 years, so that explains how big of an issue it was.

But his coaching prowess is worth noting. He coached the Warriors for three years. In his first season as the head coach, Steph Curry was attempting only 11.4 shots per game. In the second season, he had upped it to 17.8. He won the league MVP the season after Jackson’s departure, but he could thank him for his coaching over the years that got him there. Even with the defensive side, they got up to the number 1 defense side of the league the year after Jackson left. Jackson came in when the team was ranked 27th defensively in the league. In his second year itself, he managed to get them up by half to 14th, and they were 4th in his last season. That is some ridiculous improvement in such a short time. It is his work that shaped their team into a winning one in the 2014 - 15 season.

Also, Jackson has an obvious connection to New York which cannot be overlooked. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, went to high school at Bishop Loughlin where he was a basketball legend, and played only 10 minutes from the Nets home court. He studied at St. John’s University in Queens where he also played some great basketball and went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year the very next year. He had been a first-round pick for the Knicks. 

Does Jacque Vaughn stand a chance?

Vaughn is currently the interim head coach and the Nets have released a statement that he will be interviewing for the job. Although he seems well-suited to get the job, it may not be the most ideal job that he’d be looking for. He will be inheriting quite a downtrodden bunch of players as a team, and it is clear to everyone that the Nets do not have it in them to compete this year. He has a steep hill in front of him to get past to even get them ready for next season. Of course, we can’t forget what the players think of him. 

KD and Kyrie have to like him, otherwise, he’s not getting the job. But he is with them currently and there doesn’t seem to be an issue. He doesn’t have great experience in being a head coach in the NBA though - he was with the Orlando Magic for two and a half seasons. His record was 58 - 158, which is less than a 25% winning percentage. That reflects poorly on him, but it helps to remember that he was in his 30s, which is really young for a coaching job. 



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