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News » 'ANDEWEGHE THEY GO


'ANDEWEGHE THEY GO


'ANDEWEGHE THEY GO The Nets have their coach for the rest of this season.

And maybe, just maybe, they have their coach for next season, too, in a package deal.

Multiple team sources confirmed that general manager Kiki Vandeweghe has agreed to finish out this season as the interim coach. He will be joined by long-time NBA staple Del Harris, who will serve, essentially, as a co-coach with Vandeweghe, replacing the fired Lawrence Frank.

If things go well - and the incoming ownership agrees, of course - Harris, 72, could take over the coaching reins next season.

"There were no promises made," one person with knowledge of the arrangement said.

The Nets have scheduled a 10:30 press conference today, but Vandeweghe is not expected to coach until Friday night against Charlotte. Tom Barrise, one of Frank's assistants, will coach tomorrow night against Dallas. Barrise coached Sunday night in Los Angeles following Frank's dismissal. The move did not improve the winless Nets' fortunes, as they lost their 17th straight game to tie the NBA all-time mark for futility at the start of a season.

The Nets can set the record against the Mavs. One bright spot: the Nets are better at home. They're only 0-6 there, as opposed to 0-11 on the road.

The key to Vandweghe taking over is Harris. While the team staggered and rumors mounted, Vandeweghe's name repeatedly surfaced as a possible replacement for Frank. But when the inevitable axe fell, there was a reversal in thinking, as Vandeweghe was seen as someone who wanted to stay in the front office. But he agreed to take the job if he had a veteran mentor at his side.

Harris, widely regarded as a strong teaching coach, served as a head coach for 12 full seasons and parts of two others with the Rockets, Mavs and Lakers. He compiled a 556-457 record. Last season, he was a lead assistant to Vinny Del Negro in Chicago, then announced his retirement in June.

Team president Rod Thorn spoke to six candidates yesterday and met with Vandeweghe until late in the day. He said only that Vandeweghe was "a very viable" candidate.

Vandeweghe sidestepped the coaching issue last night.

"Rod and I are looking at all options, trying to figure things out," Vandeweghe said, neither confirming nor denying his imminent selection to succeed Frank.

Vandeweghe and Harris have a strong relationship and worked together in Dallas. The Nets' GM has no head coaching experience, but played 13 years in the league and was a director of player development in Dallas before becoming general manager in Denver, where he drafted Carmelo Anthony. Thorn brought him in as an assistant in 2007, and he became GM when Ed Stefanski went to Philadelphia. Thorn frequently spoke of Vandeweghe's developmental skills with young players. Among those who worked with Vandeweghe in their formative years are Anthony and Dirk Nowitzki.

Thorn interviewed all four of Frank's assistants: Barrise, in his 14th season with the organization, John Loyer, who joined the team this season, plus Doug Overton and Roy Rogers. It was believed if the Nets went with an assistant, Barrise or Loyer were the top choices.

Harris comes to the Nets already familiar with several players. He coached the Chinese National Team in the '04 Olympics and knows Yi Jianlian. Devin Harris, Trenton Hassell and Eduardo Najera all were in Dallas when Harris was there.

The Nets likely will try to play an up-tempo style, similar to what was used in Dallas and Denver when Vandeweghe was there. It is the style Frank had hoped to use this year, but his plan was dashed by a crippling array of injuries that forced him to try to play a slower game just to keep the Nets competitive.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 2, 2009

 

 
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