‘That decision was not up to’ Kevin Durant

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NEW YORK – Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said Wednesday that his reasoning for elevating assistant Jacque Vaughn into the head coaching role was that he was the best man for the job.

The Nets fired Steve Nash on Nov. 1 after Brooklyn got off to a 2-5 start this season.

Amid speculation that suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka was a prime candidate for the job, Marks shocked the basketball world by selecting Vaughn, who has been an assistant on the staff since 2016.

“At this particular time, to be honest, we were going to have to find somebody better than JV in order for it not to be JV,” Marks said. “Like all other searches we’ve ever done, whether it’s the front office or coaching staff, it’s never appropriate to talk about who may or may not be a candidate.”

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Marks said that the coaching search was “exhaustive.”

One person who did not factor in Vaughn being selected was star forward Kevin Durant.

“That decision was not up to Kevin,” Marks said. “Kevin’s job here is to go out and play basketball and that’s what he wants to do. That’s what he enjoys to do. Let’s let him go and do that.”

Jacque Vaughn was officially named head coach of the Nets on Wednesday.

Jacque Vaughn was officially named head coach of the Nets on Wednesday.

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When it comes to suspended guard Kyrie Irving, Marks said he has not talked with the seven-time All-Star and did not offer any further explanations.

Irving was suspended for at least five games after he refused to “unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film (he shared on Twitter).”  .

When pressed to answer why he has not talked with Irving or his representatives, Marks was again evasive.

“When we have news to share and updates, we will do so at the appropriate time,” Marks said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks discusses Jacque Vaughn, Kyrie Irving

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