The New York Knicks have more of a high-profile search going on right now. But the Nets might also conduct a search of their own depending on how they feel regarding interim head coach Jacque Vaughn.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN previously spoke about the Nets job on his podcast, “The Hoop Collective,” connecting some dots between Durant’s business manager, Rich Kleiman, and Jackson. Apparently, Kleiman had been tweeting about Jackson.
Additionally, Windhorst stated Durant and Jackson have a good personal relationship, and the Nets GM Sean Marks has already indicated the team will involve both KD and Kyrie Irving in any potential head coaching search.
So, should the Nets cave and hire Mark Jackson so as to satisfy Durant? Or should they hire the candidate they objectively feel would be best for the franchise?
Jackson might end up being the best candidate. If not, however, Marks and Co. need to hire the best coach for the team, rather than just its star players.
A case study: Durant and Steve Kerr
Kevin Durant and Steve Kerr did not necessarily have an acrimonious relationship during their partnership in Golden State.
But Kerr has been vocal about their disagreements, and Stephen A. Smith has claimed the two did not see eye to eye.
Why is this important? It proves that a personal relationship is not necessary in achieving success on the basketball court.
Granted, Durant was playing alongside one of the most talented rosters in NBA history during his time with the Warriors. Still, it is impossible to ignore just how good he was, particularly during the first two seasons.
Durant fit in seamlessly in his first season, shooting a career-high 53.7 percent from the field. He was also far more engaged on the defensive end of the floor, averaging a career-high 1.6 blocks and following that with 1.8 blocks the next year.
Some of this, undoubtedly, has to do with the personnel on the floor. But it is also imperative to recognize how Durant flourished in Kerr’s ball-movement system on offense while becoming a much better individual defender.
They might have had disagreements, but Kerr and Durant reached new heights together, as the Nets are aware of.
Jackson’s playoff failures
Yes, Jackson oversaw the development of the “Splash Brothers.” He also failed to take those Warriors squads to the mountaintop. In fact, he could hardly win a playoff series. The Nets know that.
Past playoff failures should not be the ultimate determinant for the Nets. Indeed, Jackson oversaw a 24-win improvement from his first to his second season on the Dubs’ bench.
Still, might the Nets entice other candidates with more experience and better track records? And if not, is it fair to cater to mercurial stars like Durant and Kyrie?
The Nets should make their hire based on judgment, not personal relationships.