Canada coach Jordi Fernandez gestures during a Basketball World Cup...

Canada coach Jordi Fernandez gestures during a Basketball World Cup semifinal game against Serbia in Manila on Sept. 8, 2023. Credit: AP/Michael Conroy

The Nets didn’t take long to find their next coach. Kings assistant coach Jordi Fernandez reportedly will be hired, according to an ESPN report late Monday.

Fernandez, 41, has been the Kings’ top assistant and associate head coach since he was hired in 2022 by coach Mike Brown. Before that, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Nuggets.

The Athletic reported Saturday that Fernandez, who was born in Barcelona, Spain, was a finalist along with former Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer and Suns assistant Kevin Young.

This is Fernandez’s first NBA head-coaching job. He succeeds interim coach Kevin Ollie, who took over when Jacque Vaughn was fired on Feb. 19.

ESPN reported that Fernandez will stay with the Kings through the postseason. They will host Golden State in a play-in tournament game Tuesday.

Fernandez continues a pattern of coaching hires since Sean Marks took over as Nets general manager in 2016. Kenny Atkinson and Vaughn were assistants before being hired and Steve Nash had no previous coaching experience when hired in 2020.

Fernandez has been regarded as an up-and-coming coach in league circles. He reportedly interviewed for the Hornets’ current vacancy and, according to ESPN, interviewed last year with the Suns, Raptors and Bucks.

He also served two games in 2022-23 as acting head coach when Brown tested positive for COVID-19. After one of those games, his former boss, Nuggets coach Michael Malone, praised his former assistant.

“I think one day Jordi will be a head coach in this league,” Malone told reporters on Dec. 27, 2022. “He’s been a head coach in the G League. He’s got great international experience.”

Fernandez started in the NBA as a player development coach with the Cavaliers in 2009 when Brown coached there. In 2014, he was promoted as head coach of their G League team, the Canton Charge, a year after being hired as an assistant.

The Nets finished the season 32-50 and missed the postseason for the first time since 2018. They finished 23rd out of 30 teams in offensive efficiency, 28th in field-goal percentage and 20th in defensive efficiency.

Fernandez, known as a defensive specialist, inherits a team that returns 11 players under contract, including Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Cam Thomas. Nic Claxton will enter free agency, but the Nets will make re-signing him their top offseason priority.

In terms of what he's looking for in a new coach, Johnson said, "Maybe detail-oriented, you know? Like I said, I think we need to really develop good habits, a good foundation and a good base. And there's a lot of ways to accomplish that."

Bridges added, "Probably what everybody else wants in their coach, being very detailed and being a player's coach as well, I think that’s the biggest thing too, just talking to guys and getting feedback and everything. But I think more just, I think for me personally, the detailed aspect, being detailed on both ends. You know, you wanna play, have that moment in the season where you’re not really thinking anymore. You kind of know what we’re doing offensively and defensively; it’s kind of just that free mindset to go out there.''

Fernandez is the Canada men’s basketball team’s current coach. He led Canada to a bronze medal in last year’s FIBA World Cup over Team USA, which featured Bridges and Johnson.




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