Jacque Vaughn looking to work differently and listen to Nets stars
- If Kenny Atkinson's popularity among key figures in the Brooklyn Nets locker room waned, Jacque Vaughn has moved quickly to get them onside.
New interim head coach Jacque Vaughn has vowed to "truly listen" to the Brooklyn Nets' key players as he looks to work differently to former boss Kenny Atkinson.
Vaughn was named coach until the end of the season on Saturday, stepping up from his role as assistant to Atkinson, who departed after three and a half years.
General manager Sean Marks suggested "another voice" was needed in a locker room that includes high-profile 2019 signings Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Vaughn was reluctant to go into detail on the issues but explained his attentive new approach.
"Overall we met as a group," Vaughn said. "Sean addressed the group and I had a chance to quickly address the group.
"And then my point was to meet with each individual, spend time with them, hear their thoughts, basically listen. I've been able to do that throughout the course of the morning."
The Brooklyn Nets and Head Coach Kenny Atkinson have mutually agreed to part ways. Jacque Vaughn will serve as head coach for the remainder of the season.— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 7, 2020
Irving has played just 20 games this season due to injuries, while Durant is yet to return from an Achilles rupture suffered with the Golden State Warriors in last year's NBA Finals.
Vaughn would not comment on the suggestion the team's veteran players had been unimpressed by Atkinson, but he spoke of a "great conversation" with Irving.
"I don't want to speak for those guys," he said, quoted in the New York Post. "What I will say is I initiated the offer of what can we do differently. I'm not sure if that was expressed to Kenny from other guys.
"What I will say is that, in today's game, you have to be able to continually reinforce your philosophy and continue to communicate with guys.
"I've always tried to put myself in a position that any player can come to me as an assistant coach. Whether that was talking about on-the-court stuff or off-the-court stuff, guys need that.
"I think it's a skill to be someone who can listen. It's a tough skill to truly listen, and I've tried to do that through my career."Published 08 Mar 2020, 20:22 IST