Denton: Vaughn & Kidd Share Bond

By John Denton
Nov. 3, 2013

ORLANDO – When former point guards Jason Kidd and Jacque Vaughn played together with the New Jersey Nets from 2004-06, they always admired each other’s professionalism and work ethic. And both of them always assumed that the other would someday make a great NBA coach.

That became a reality on Sunday night when Kidd – now the coach of the Brooklyn Nets – faced off against Vaughn, the second-year coach of the Orlando Magic. It was the coaching debut for Kidd, who was required to sit out the first two games because of a NBA suspension.

Kidd thought it was only fitting that he opened his coaching career against someone he greatly respected during his playing days such as Vaughn. He lauded Vaughn for the work that he did with the rebuilding Magic last season and said he sees many of the same characteristics in him as a coach as he did as a player.

``Jacque was a true professional as a teammate and he was one of those who was the first one there and the last one to leave,’’ Kidd said. ``He worked extremely hard and did exactly what his coach and teammates asked of him. That’s the same thing that you see from him as a coach. He’s a competitor and he always has his team ready to play at a high level.’’

Kidd, a 10-time all-star and a six-time All-NBA player, is the first coach in more than 30 years to go from playing one season and being a head coach the next. But Vaughn said that shouldn’t be an impediment for Kidd because he was always like a coach on the floor and someone who played with such a cerebral style.

``He’s a smart individual and that extends beyond the basketball court,’’ Vaughn said. ``He has a wealth of knowledge of being in different situations throughout his career. He’s played for some great coaches along the way. He was an extreme communicator. He wasn’t always verbal in his approach, but he showed guys the right way to do things. He’ll be able to communicate with each individual on the team. So he’s a great hire for the Nets for sure.’’





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