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Nets hire Jordi Fernandez as coach. Fernandez was Kings' associate head coach for two years

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Nets hire Jordi Fernandez as coach. Fernandez was Kings' associate head coach for two years
Sport

Sport

Nets hire Jordi Fernandez as coach. Fernandez was Kings' associate head coach for two years

2024-04-22 22:31 Last Updated At:22:41

NEW YORK (AP) — Jordi Fernandez was hired Monday as coach of the Brooklyn Nets, who are looking to bounce back after missing the playoffs for the first time in six years.

The Nets finished 32-50 and fired Jacque Vaughn at the All-Star break. Kevin Ollie finished out the season as the interim coach.

Fernandez spent the last two seasons as associate head coach of the Sacramento Kings, helping them win the Pacific Division title last year and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

The native of Badalona, Spain, also coaches Canada's men's national team, leading the country to a bronze medal last year in the Basketball World Cup. The Canadians beat the U.S. in the third-place game for their first medal in the event.

The Nets made five straight playoff appearances from 2019-23, yet have not been able to stick with a coach despite those results. After Kenny Atkinson was replaced during the 2019-20 season, Steve Nash and Vaughn both had short stays as head coach, with Vaughn and Ollie also serving interim stints.

They hope Fernandez, the franchise's 24th coach, is one who could last.

“As we progressed through an extensive search over the past six weeks, it became increasingly clear that Jordi is the best coach to lead our team forward," general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “Jordi brings a diverse set of experiences and basketball knowledge gained over the course of a coaching career that has taken him around the world.”

Fernandez spent six seasons as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets before moving to Sacramento. He also led the Canton Charge to consecutive appearances in the NBA G League Eastern Conference finals.

Fernandez has also been an assistant coach for both the Spanish and Nigerian national teams.

Now he takes over a Nets one that fired Vaughn just a year after giving him a contract extension. They went 11-17 under Ollie, focusing on their young players down the stretch after falling out of playoff contention.

“I am eager to get to work with this talented group of players and collectively drive our team forward,” Fernandez said. "Together, we will be fully committed to building something special for Nets fans and the borough to be proud of for years to come.”

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

FILE - Sacramento Kings assistant coach Jordi Fernandez looks on, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Denver. Fernandez was hired Monday, April 22, 2024 as coach of the Brooklyn Nets, who are looking to bounce back after missing the playoffs for the first time in six years. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

FILE - Sacramento Kings assistant coach Jordi Fernandez looks on, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Denver. Fernandez was hired Monday, April 22, 2024 as coach of the Brooklyn Nets, who are looking to bounce back after missing the playoffs for the first time in six years. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

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3 players quit Argentina women's team in dispute over pay and conditions

2024-05-28 17:49 Last Updated At:17:50

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Three players quit Argentina's women's squad on Monday in a dispute over not being paid and conditions at a camp ahead of two friendlies.

Goalkeeper Laurina Oliveiros, defender Julieta Cruz and midfielder Lorena Benítez, all regular starters, walked out.

“We reached a point in which we are tired of the injustices, of not being valued, not being heard and, even worse, being humiliated,” Cruz posted on Instagram. “We need improvements for Argentina’s women’s soccer national team, and I am not only talking about finances. I speak about training, having lunch, breakfast.”

Cruz and Benítez said during national squad training sessions they received a ham and cheese sandwich and a banana, which they consider inadequate for high-performance athletes.

They said the Argentine Football Association told them they won't be paid for the friendlies against Costa Rica on Friday and Monday because the games are at home in Buenos Aires.

Benitez added their family members were being charged 5,000 pesos ($5) for match tickets.

“And there there are millions of things we have gone through," the midfielder added.

Oliveros wrote on Instagram, “With a broken heart and thousands of dreams disappearing little by little. May the next generations enjoy and be happy running after the football, as we were sometime ago."

AFA did not comment on the players' decision.

Estefanía Banini, considered the country's best female player ever, supported her three former teammates. Last year, she also decided to stop playing for the national team.

“A matter of time. Thanks for being willing to speak about it,” the Atletico Madrid midfielder said on her social media channels.

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

FILE - Argentina's Lorena Benitez warms up prior to the Women's World Cup Group G soccer match between Argentina and South Africa in Dunedin, New Zealand, July 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

FILE - Argentina's Lorena Benitez warms up prior to the Women's World Cup Group G soccer match between Argentina and South Africa in Dunedin, New Zealand, July 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

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