Nets Name Vandeweghe

Nets Name Vandeweghe

By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive

The Nets announced today that they\’ve appointed former NBA all-Star and Denver GM, Ernest Maurice \”Kiki\” Vandeweghe, III to become the Special Assistant to the Team President and GM, Rod Thorn. Thus ends the search for a worthy successor to fill some of the role that former Nets\’ GM Ed Stefanski had assumed while in New Jersey.

The position itself is considered to be an interim one – through the \’08 draft – but may become permanent. It could also lead into a GM role.*

\”Kiki\” means \”curly head\” in German. I guess that the Nets will now have two Curlys in the organization instead of one.

For those who are unaware, popular Serbian Nets\’ C Nenad Krstic is also known as \”Curly.\” It was the nickname that his teammates accorded him after looking at his curly locks of hair.

Still, if Kiki could get Curly to shoot like Dirk [Nowitzki], who was tutored by Kiki while in Dallas with the Mavericks, then it would be well worth having two Kikis (Curlys) on the squad.

The important thing is that you don\’t want the two to end up like another famous Curly. The one I\’m referring to had a starring role as one of the \”Big Three\” in a venerable classic of the early TV era that was known as: \”The Three Stooges.\”

All kidding aside, though, the appointment has the potential to bring a lot of benefits to the New Jersey Nets. Kiki has a great basketball mind and knows talent.

He will be learning under one of the best in the business in Rod Thorn. If he is groomed as his eventual successor, Kiki will likely continue the tradition of winning basketball with the Nets\’ franchise that Rod worked so hard to establish.

Still, of course, that\’s premature. I don\’t see Rod Thorn retiring anytime soon.

Then again, there are rumblings about whether he\’ll make the trip to Brooklyn. The important thing is that the organization will be in good hands if Rod doesn\’t.

[Digression of Note: Of course … I didn\’t get even a sniff from Rod. I guess it\’s because Kiki is younger. :)]

Kiki Vandeweghe is the son of Dr. Ernie Vandeweghe. Dr. Vandeweghe was a physician stationed in Weisbaden Germany for the USAF when Kiki was born.

It probably explained why Kiki was in love with \’long-range bombing\’ during his playing career (shooting 52.5% over 13 years while averaging 19.7 ppg). He also had basketball in his genes.

You see, his father, Dr. Ernest Maurice \”Ernie\” Vandeweghe Jr., was the first important \”sixth man\” in NBA history. He was going to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons when he was a sixth man with the New York Knicks, circa 1949-1956.

\”Doctor Vandeweghe to the rescue\” was the rallying cry of the Knicks\’ faithful at the Garden when Ernie would step on the court fresh from his medical studies. Talk about \’saving the day?\’

Enough said about his father, though, this is about Kiki! Let\’s hope he can save the day for the Nets … Or, at least, improve their fortunes a wee bit.

\”We are very pleased to welcome Kiki to the Nets,\” Nets\’ President Thorn said in a news release. \”Kiki has been a mainstay in the league for almost two decades, first as an All-Star player and then as a front office executive. His experience in both areas will be an invaluable asset to the franchise, and we look forward to his contributions.\”

Picked No. 11 overall by Dallas in the 1980 NBA Draft out of UCLA, where he led his team to the final game of the NCAA tournament as a Senior under head coach Larry Brown, Kiki played thirteen seasons in the NBA, starring in Denver with the Nuggets, who acquired him that same year. His teams made it to the postseason in 12-out-of-the-13 seasons in which he had played.

A native Angeleno, Kiki earned a degree in economics. Like former Knickerbockers\’ great and Senator,
Bill Bradley, he, too, applied to be a Rhodes Scholar.

Kiki not only led the Bruins to the national title game his Senior season, but he also ended up a Rhodes Scholar finalist. Even more remarkable is that the Bruins team he led consisted of a starting cast of Kiki and four freshmen.

[Anecdote: When Kiki was about to be drafted, there was strong speculation that he might end up with the New York Knickerbockers. It was impressive that the New York side of the Vandeweghe family was prepared to arrange for Kiki\’s meals, as they had for his father, while he was playing for the Knickerbockers. That is, of course, if the Knicks had drafted him. What a family? … Huh?!!]

Kiki lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife Peggy and their six-year old son. He\’ll be making arrangements to move to the New York area.

Mr. Vandeweghe now brings his prestigious talents to the New Jersey Nets. Welcome aboard!

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 2007 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 kathyforkids@cs.com

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