NBA Roundtable

Nets Appoint Kiki Vandeweghe

In Coaches Corner on December 1, 2009 at 12:11 am

Dave D’Alessandro reports

Vandeweghe will be announced as the 16th coach in the franchise’s NBA history Tuesday, and could take over the hot seat as early as Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks at Izod Center, though that has yet to be decided.

The job, however, is merely temporary; contracts for Thorn and Vandeweghe both expire after this season, and neither has the authority to bring in long-term deals of any kind until the ownership transfer to Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov is completed sometime next year.

The article continues and cites the positives that Kiki brings to the table

But Thorn mandated that Vandeweghe occupy that role, if only because his imprint on the roster is indelible, as he is especially close to Devin Harris, Yi Jianlian and Courtney Lee — the three young players acquired for Kidd, Jefferson and Carter.

It is in that one area — player development — that Vandeweghe admits is a personal strength. His earliest success story occurred in Dallas, where he helped transform Dirk Nowitzki from a rookie bust into a world-class player in two years.

Vandeweghe didn’t deny his role — “We spent every evening in the gym, at least two hours of film and workouts,” he said in a conversation last February. But at least one person said Vandeweghe was being modest.

“Dirk deserves most of the credit, of course,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a recent interview. “But I think Kiki was certainly instrumental in helping Dirk understand how to be successful in the NBA. That’s what Kiki is good at … communicating.”

I’ve also seen other articles which have commended Kiki on his optimism + energy and feel that those qualities will be a positive on a roster low on confidence at the moment.

Del Harris

Del Harris, the distinguished head coach with the Rockets, Bucks and Lakers who retired last summer after a one-year stint on Vinny Del Negro’s staff in Chicago, will be brought in to be Vandeweghe’s top assistant.

Thoughts

Anyway, Kiki Vandeweghe looks like an interesting choice. The Del Harris signing was an excellent choice … gives Kiki an experience head to help steady the ship as he gets used to being a head coach. This should be fun.

I’m particularly interested to see what Kiki does with Yi … minutes wise, shots/touches wise.

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