Nets’ Kevin Durant on coach Jacque Vaughn: ‘I was excited for him’

We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More
Nets Kevin Durant 'Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are two dudes I emulate on and off the court' Michael Jordan

Nets coach Jacque Vaughn received his first win on Wednesday night, and Kevin Durant already has noticed a positive impact with the former assistant leading them.

“I was excited for him,” Durant said following their 112-85 win over the New York Knicks. “And I know the work that he puts in every day. I know how much he cares about the development of each player, and this team as a whole.”

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Nets have the sixth-best odds to win the championship in 2023. However, some sportsbooks are showing higher odds for the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

“Look forward to playing for him, continued the two-time Finals MVP. “All the guys have responded to how he wants us to play, so I’m looking forward to how we progress after this.”

In 35 minutes played, Durant ended his performance recording his 17th career triple-double, joining Elfrid Payton, Scottie Pippen, and Bill Russell for 35th on the all-time list.

Nets forward Kevin Durant praises coach Jacque Vaughn

While finishing 10-of-19 (52.6%) shooting from the floor and 1-of-5 (20%) from 3-point range, the forward amassed 29 points, 12 assists, and 12 rebounds.

More importantly, the 12-time All-Star feels the Nets’ best wins lie ahead of them. Their win over the Knicks improved Brooklyn’s record to 5-7. Also, Durant has not lost to the Knicks since 2013.

“We were struggling, we’ve been through a lot,” Durant said on why the Nets are off to a slow start to the 2022-23 season. “Guys got pride, individual pride, and we just wanted to come out and play better.

That’s what we’ve been doing. We don’t want this to be a honeymoon stage for us, we want to continue to keep pushing through, keep finding ways to get better, finding ways to turn those weaknesses into strengths and keep pushing from here.”

Furthermore, Jacque Vaughn will enjoy working with Durant more as well. Through 12 games this season, the four-time scoring champ is averaging 30.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.9 blocks.

“I think we really came out with the right mindset,” the Nets coach said after the win. “That first group really established our will.

We picked up full court, really tried to put an imprint on the game and then guys just filtered in off the bench and had an impact. Kevin’s job of getting the group going, his ability to be a hub for us, rebound for us, come up with a triple-double, set the tone.”

Additionally, the Nets play the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. This game will air live on YES Network, NBA League Pass, and Bally Sports SoCal.