The Nets have hired David Vanterpool as a part of Steve Nash’s coaching staff.
The 48-year-old Vanterpool replaces Ime Udoka, who took the head coaching job with the Celtics. Vanterpool spent the last two seasons as the associate head coach for the Timberwolves after a long run in Portland, where he developed close relationships while helping develop players such as Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Vanterpool reportedly interviewed for at least four different head coaching vacancies in recent years, but has yet to get his chance. It was that work in Portland that raised his profile into the national spotlight last year, not for the work he did, but for the job he didn’t get. When the Timberwolves dismissed Ryan Saunders and replaced him with Chris Finch, that elicited an angry social media post from Lillard.
Lillard tweeted, "How the hell do you not hire David Vanterpool and he’s right there on the bench . . . and has been in front office SUCCESSFULLY and on the front of a bench of a winning team SUCCESSFULLY (7 years) ... and also has played a major role in the development of a dominant backcourt smdh! [Shaking My Damn Head]"
Vanterpool’s relationships could pay off here, too. His first NBA job was as director of player personnel with Oklahoma City in 2010, which then had Nets stars Kevin Durant and James Harden.