Nets Hire Steve Nash as Next Head Coach
After surprisingly firing Kenny Atkinson back in March, the Brooklyn Nets have found their next head coach: 2-time MVP and Hall of Fame point guard, Steve Nash.
The Nets had a huge free agency last summer acquiring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving from Golden State and Boston. The two should be 100% next season as Durant recovers from an achilles injury he suffered in the 2019 Finals while Irving will be coming off an injured right shoulder. Nash will have plenty of weapons to work within two superstars along with a solid young core of Caris Levert, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen, and Spencer Dinwiddie, barring any free agent moves or trades.
After rumors swirling around of the Nets possibly pursuing San Antonio head coach Greg Popovich, GM Sean Marks (former teammate of Nash) decided to roll the dice on the inexperienced Nash. We have seen these hires made before of former point guards with zero coaching experience being thrown into the head coaching fire with Mark Jackson (Golden State) in 2011 and Jason Kidd (Brooklyn) in 2013.
Nash was a previous consultant with the Golden State Warriors while Durant played there and built a solid relationship with him in the process. Durant told the San Jose Mercury News in 2018, “He’s [Nash] someone I can talk to about anything and somebody I really respect. His basketball mind is probably the best I’ve been around.” You would have to think this played a role in the hiring process of the 8-time All-Star. The Nets are getting a coach that has a great basketball mind and one of the highest IQs to ever play the game.
This is a risky move for Brooklyn, but I believe the potential reward is worth it. Nash is one of the greatest point guards to ever play, which is Kyrie Irving’s position. Irving has had his run-ins with coaches in the past and has been known to butt heads over schemes, playing style, and culture surrounding the team. A very important part of this job is to make both Irving and Durant happy. I believe that Nash is somebody that can possibly see eye-to-eye with Irving and build a healthy relationship with the difficult star.
The Nets are in a win-now mindset and will be in a great position to compete for a championship next season. Unlike other first time coaches, the expectations for Nash will be fairly high coming in. He will have a lot of star power and depth to work with. As Durant and Irving yet to appear on the court together, it will be up to Nash to create a scheme for their individual games to gel together and operate smoothly.
I don’t mind the move for Brooklyn. Sure, there were other experienced coaches on the market such as Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue, but Sean Marks wanted someone both him and his players were familiar and comfortable with. With the personalities on this roster, that maybe even more important than the X’s and O’s.