Nets’ Jacque Vaughn firing influenced by Ben Simmons drama

Matthew Legros
Ben Simmons (left) and Jacque Vaughn (right) as members of the Brooklyn Nets.

Several Brooklyn Nets stars lost faith in now-fired head coach Jacque Vaughn for his lack of structure and usage of Ben Simmons in the offense, according to a report.

The Brooklyn Nets fired Jacque Vaughn on Monday for more than their disappointing 21-33 record this season. Nets star Mikal Bridges and many of his teammates were said to be unhappy due to a poor structure of the team’s offense.

To make matters worse, drama surfaced surrounding Ben Simmons. Nets players felt as though Vaughn’s onus on running their system through the 6ft10in point guard set the stage for their losing ways and chaos to enter into their ranks.

Vaughn stepped into the Nets’ head coaching role to open arms and praise, and now leaves with a sour taste in his mouth as new information surrounding the players’ vitriol have sprung up.

Jacque Vaughn’s coaching style & focus gets disrespected

In training camp, Vaughn led with a scheme that would run through Simmons’ decision making at the one. Players were not too fond of this decision.

While Simmons has a track record of stellar play, particularly his career average of 7.5 assists as an A-list distributor, the LSU product has not been able to shake off the controversy surrounding his name or the injury bug that has plagued his frame.

Ever since his infamous late-game blunder in the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons hasn’t looked like himself. Simmons’ output has significantly dropped off since joining the Nets in 2022.

On top of that, he has only played 54 games from then until now. The letdown in the productivity and availability departments is the reason why Bridges, as well as point guard Spencer Dinwiddie bashed Vaughn leading up to and on his way out of the door, as Shams Charania fleshed out in a recent interview on Fanduel’s “Run it Back.”

“They felt like a lot of what Jacque Vaughn was running, was being run improperly without structure,” Charania said.

“Jacque Vaughn came into the year saying we’re going to run a free-for-all offense and the team from what I gather have been pretty bonded on the fact that developing a hierarchy was important.

“And when they went into the training camp a lot of their offense was built around Ben Simmons, and him playing one, and him playing at a high level for them but throughout the season he has been unavailable.”

The players delivered a major blow to Vaughn’s reputation and ego. Things got pretty messy behind closed doors, leaving the team with the predicament they’re now in.

The Nets will look to pick up the pieces and save their season down the back-half of the year while Vaughn will look to save his coaching career elsewhere if given the opportunity.

About The Author

Matthew graduated from Brooklyn College in 2022 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications. In the past, he's written for Heavy Sports, Sports Illustrated, and SB Nation. On top of penning scripts for Empire Sports Media, Matthew covers the latest NBA, NFL and Boxing news for Dexerto. His expertise lies in basketball, with a personal passion for track-and-field. You can contact him at