Brooklyn Nets: Jordi Fernandez becomes first Spanish NBA head coach in history. GETTY IMAGES

Brooklyn Nets have announced the hiring of Jordi Fernandez as head coach for the NBA’s next season. He will be the third European and the first Spanish head coach.

At 41 years old, Jordi Fernandez, a Spaniard with a wealth of coaching experience, steps into the role of head coach for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets for next season. From a city with a tight basketball tradition as Badalona, Barcelona, Fernandez spent the past two seasons as Sacramento Kings assistant coach of Mike Brown.

He landed 2009 the NBA, at the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the job of developing players until 2013. Three years later, Fernandez was coaching the Cavs affiliated team in the G-League, formerly known as Canton Charge. The first season as assistant coach and the two remaining as head coach.

He was the assistant of Mike Malone at the Denver Nuggets from 2016 to 2022, achieving the Conference Finals in the 19/20 season, losing against the Los Angeles Lakers into the 'Disney bubble' in Orlando due to the pandemic.

Fernandez said: "I'm truly grateful to lead the Nets. (This is an) exciting and humbling opportunity. We will be fully committed to building something special for Nets fans and the borough to be proud of for years to come."

The Spanish coach is the first Spaniard to be a head coach of an NBA franchise, despite being the assistant, Fernandez led the Sacramento Kings as head coach on 15 December 2022 after Mike Brown’s expulsion during the game facing the Toronto Raptors. He also is the third European head coach in NBA history after Serbians Igor Kokoskov and Darko Rajakovic.

Fernandez played a pivotal role in guiding the Sacramento Kings to their first playoff appearance since 2006 last season, although their postseason journey was cut short by a defeat to the Golden State Warriors in the play-in.

This season, the Brooklyn Nets finished with a record of 32-50 and failed to secure a playoff berth. Since relocating from New Jersey in 2012, the Nets have faced disappointment in postseason play, losing eight out of 10 playoff series and never progressing beyond the second round. This past summer, the Nets traded Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and they have a contract issue with Ben Simmons, who only played 15 games this season and has guaranteed $40.3 million next season.

Nets team owner Joe Tsai said: "We look forward to working with Jordi to build a sustainable winning culture in Brooklyn."

Nets general manager Sean Marks said: "We're thrilled to announce Jordi Fernandez as Brooklyn's new head coach. 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.

"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. Each step of the way, Jordi has consistently demonstrated the ability to implement strong processes and creative systems designed to optimise each team’s specific roster."

Assuming the helm of the Canadian national team in June of last year, Fernandez steered the squad through a 6-2 run in the World Cup, securing a notable victory over the United States to clinch third place. Despite his recent appointment by the Nets, Canada Basketball has confirmed that Fernandez will continue to lead the Canadian team at the upcoming Paris Olympics, where it will be the new 2024 'Dream Team' for USA.

The governing body said in a statement: "We have been working closely with both Jordi and the Nets throughout the process and we can confirm that Jordi will remain as our coach this summer at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, as we look to build on the success we had last summer at the FIBA Men's Basketball World Cup."

Fernandez served as an assistant coach for Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics and for Spain as assitant coach of Sergio Scariolo at the 2017 EuroBasket and now he's going to be at the helm of an NBA franchise on the bench.