Kiki\’s Press Conference

Kiki\’s Press Conference

By: NBASCOUT / Special to

The Nets held a press conference today introducing the new interim Head Coach Kiki Vandeweghe who smiled broadly. Seems it wasn\’t long ago that he was elevated to the General Managership, a position which he retains despite the extra duty. Applause broke out before Coach Vandeweghe reminded everyone that not all will be clapping so vigorously once he gets down to work.*

Obviously, Kiki knows that coaching at this level is an occupational hazard. Literally, you never know when you\’re the next one out the door. None the less, he has assumed the challenge secure in the knowledge that he can lean heavily on a former Head Coach, Del Harris, with whom he worked previously, and get the job done or return to the front office. After all, a sports announcer by the name of Pat Riley was lifted out from the announcers booth and put in charge of the Los Angeles Lakers as their Head Coach. We all know that the Basketball Hall of Fame liked his work so much that he is still enshrined in the front office down in Miami!

That said, some of the things I liked about Kiki\’s remarks had to do with how he was the the 15th man at UCLA when he first got there, not even participating in the first two scrimmages, but worked his way into the mix until it worked out pretty well for him. For those who don\’t know, he was the franchise player at UCLA carrying the team on his shoulders to incredible success with nothing more than marginal role players surrounding him. Given how it worked out for him at UCLA, If he brings that same attitude here, the Nets may bring home a title.

While Kiki admitted that coaching wasn\’t his first choice, I think he\’ll do just fine. What was that quote about some finding greatness and others having it thrust upon them?

Never a man to back down from challenges, I think Kiki is now relishing the opportunity to prove himself in this role as well even if it is only as an interim coach. Life is a funny thing. The team that was shaped in his image now gets to see if he can bring out the promise that inspired it. His philosophy is sound. Now it\’s up to the players.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2009 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at

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