Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn reacts during the second...

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn reacts during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on Feb. 13. Credit: Brad Penner

It was almost exactly a year ago when the Nets signed coach Jacque Vaughn to a multiyear extension on Feb. 21. At the time, general manager Sean Marks said the team was “thrilled to have Jacque lead the Nets for years to come.”

On Monday, Vaughn was fired. The Nets (21-33) went from a promising start to losing 18 of their last 24 games and entering the All-Star break with a 50-point loss to the Celtics in Boston.

The defeat was the Nets’ worst since moving to Brooklyn in 2012 and the second-worst margin of defeat in franchise history.

The Nets are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and 2 1⁄2 games out of the final play-in tournament spot.

The Nets promoted assistant coach Kevin Ollie to interim head coach, according to multiple reports. Ollie, who played 13 NBA seasons, is in his first season on the Nets’ staff and previously was head coach at UConn for six seasons, winning a national title in 2014.

Ollie also served as head of coaching and basketball development at Overtime Elite for two years before being hired by Vaughn this past offseason.

Vaughn was 71-68 during his tenure, including 10 games he coached during the 2019-20 season. He’d been with the Nets since 2016 as an assistant coach and was named interim coach on Nov. 1, 2022, after Steve Nash was fired. Eight days later, he was named permanent head coach.

“Jacque has represented this organization with exemplary character and class for the past eight years,” Marks said Monday in a statement. “The consistent positivity and passion he poured into our team daily will remain with the players and staff he interacted with throughout his tenure.”

Vaughn also issued a statement to ESPN regarding his departure, thanking the organization, including co-owners Joe and Clara Wu-Tsai, the front office, his former staff and his players.

“It was a pleasure being your head coach. I hope each individual I interacted with felt respected and valued,” Vaughn said in his statement. “Just know I gave you everything I had every single day. Onto the next chapter. Amor Fati [love of one’s fate].”

The Nets’ spiral began Dec. 27 at home against the Bucks. On the second night of a back-to-back, they sat four players, including three starters, because of injuries. After the first quarter, Mikal Bridges, Cam Thomas and Royce O’Neale were pulled and sat out the rest of the game

They lost, 144-122, and Bridges voiced his disapproval about not playing the rest of the game. The NBA also fined the Nets $100,000 for violating the league’s participation policy.

Before that loss, the Nets were 15-15. Their six wins since then are tied for second fewest in the NBA, just ahead of the Wizards’ four.

In Vaughn’s first season, the Nets tore down their “Big 3” era by trading Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last February. Durant’s trade to the Suns brought in Bridges and Cam Johnson.

But since the debut of Bridges and Johnson, the Nets are 33-48 and were swept in the first round of last year’s playoffs by the 76ers.

They expected more help this season with a healthy Ben Simmons and by installing new defensive principles. Instead, the Nets battled injuries from the start, with Johnson and Nic Claxton hurt in the season opener. Simmons has missed 42 games, including 35 with a nerve impingement in his back.

Defensively, there often was miscommunication, leading to the Nets being 24th (out of 30 teams) in opponent three-pointers made per game and 25th in opponent three-point percentage.

While Bridges and Thomas are averaging more than 21 points per game, the Nets’ offense lacked consistency, ranking 27th in field-goal percentage. With Simmons, they play faster, move the ball more and take better shots. Without him, the offense becomes more stagnant and plodding.

Despite the losing, Vaughn stayed hopeful that the Nets could get it right.

“I totally believe in this group that they’ll be able to do that and accept the challenge that’s ahead of us,” Vaughn said on Feb. 14. “We’ve done it before and there’s no reason for me to not believe it can’t be done again.”

Now, if the Nets somehow turn things around, it’ll be without Vaughn, the second Nets coach to be fired in less than two years.

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