Orlando Magic guard Caleb Houstan (2) and Nets center Day'Ron...

Orlando Magic guard Caleb Houstan (2) and Nets center Day'Ron Sharpe (20) compete for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. Credit: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jacque Vaughn knows there are different ways to motivate young players.

Teaching and preaching and even asking nicely isn’t always the best way to get them to do what you want. Sometimes the best way to light a fire under a player is to make him a little uncomfortable.

Sending a message to second-year player Day’Ron Sharpe was a big reason the Nets signed Nerlens Noel and then Moses Brown to 10-day contracts, according to Vaughn.

“Of course, we wouldn’t do that. We wouldn’t sign those two bigs to motivate Day’Ron Sharpe to be a professional and bring all he has every single day,” Vaughn, with sarcasm dripping from his voice, said before the Nets played the Orlando Magic Thursday.

“You know, I just think overall at the end of the day these guys are here in the league because they have a competitive nature about it. That’s why they got here. That’s why they are one percenters. And sometimes you have to tap into that competitive nature.”

It appears the message has been received.

Sharpe, the Nets first-round draft pick in 2021-22, may be developing into the backup the Nets need for center Nic Claxton.

Sharpe had four straight DNPs when Vaughn decided to use him against Denver on March 19. That began a string of four very decent games heading into Sunday’s game against Orlando. Over that stretch, the second-year big man has averaged 10.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks in 14.0 minutes.

Sharpe, who had pretty much fallen out of the rotation after the Nets traded Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, said he is learning to develop the habits he needs to stay ready even though he never knows when he is going to get floor time.

“One game I play and the next I might not play, so I just try to go hard when I’m playing basketball,” Sharpe said. “Other times when I’m not in the game, I just keep lifting and running and trying to stay in shape so I do get in the game.”

More Brooklyn Nets

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months