The Brooklyn Nets have fired head coach Jacque Vaughn after a 21-33 start to the 2023-24 NBA season. The team is currently 11th in the Eastern Conference and has gone 6-15 since the start of the new year.

Vaughn spent four years as a Nets assistant coach from 2016 to 2020 before becoming the team’s interim head coach after the firing of Kenny Atkinson. He was then moved back to an assistant coach position before becoming the team’s head coach in 2022, which he held until Monday. While Vaughn was with Brooklyn he saw the arrival and departure of stars such as James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. In his time with the Nets, the team made the playoffs every year but only reached the second round once, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games in 2021. The last game Vaughn coached for the Nets was a 136-86 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics before All-Star Weekend.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we feel is in the best interest of the team going forward,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said. “We thank Jacque for all he has done for the Nets and the borough of Brooklyn, and wish him, Laura and their family nothing but the best in the future.”

After seeing Irving leave for Dallas and Durant for Phoenix, the Nets are in an unknown phase, without their superstars but perhaps not a bad enough record to tank for a better draft pick. With talented players in Mikal Bridges, Cam Thomas and Nic Claxton the team did get out to a strong 13-10 record to start the season. Unfortunately, they’ve gone 8-23 in the games since then and are 21st in the league in scoring at 113.4 points per game, two factors ultimately leading to Vaughn’s firing.

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Despite the team only one position shy of the NBA Play-In tournament, the parting of Vaughn from the Nets is yet another example of high expectations by NBA front offices. Most notably, the Bucks fired head coach Adrian Griffin in his first year despite a 30-13 record and second place in the East. Vaughn’s overall head coaching record with the Nets was 71-68 over the course of three total seasons.

In Vaughn’s place, Kevin Ollie will take over as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Ollie was an NBA veteran for 13 years and won an NCAA National Championship in 2014 as head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies. He was also the head coach of the Overtime Elite team before joining Brooklyn’s coaching staff last season.

The Nets currently have 28 games remaining on their schedule and are two and a half games behind the Atlanta Hawks in the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference.

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