Brooklyn Nets fans were completely taken aback with the news when Hall-of-Fame point guard Steve Nash was announced as the team’s new head coach. For months there were many rumors and speculations about potential candidates, with names ranging from Tyronn Lue to Mike D’Antoni to even the legend himself, Gregg Popovich.
Interim coach Jacque Vaughn also made himself a case after leading a decimated Nets team to the playoffs. The team went 7-3 in the 10 games where Vaughn was head coach, which was quite the feat considering most of the team was either injured or had contracted the coronavirus.
Nets fans didn’t know what to expect once the team’s season had ended. The firing of Kenny Atkinson in early March led to a lot of uncertainty in the team’s direction considering Atkinson didn’t even get a real chance to be the head coach going forward.
That’s what made the Steve Nash hiring even more shocking. Why would the Nets hire a rookie head coach to lead a team with championship aspirations? Nets fans had already witnessed a similar situation previously when Jason Kidd was hired in 2013. He lead a Nets team with championship expectations at the time, and that team led by Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, failed miserably. Kidd was then shipped out to Milwaukee after only one season as head coach.
The only question Nets fans can ask themselves now is: What can Steve Nash bring to the Brooklyn Nets?
Nets fans can only hope Steve Nash won’t lead to the same results as the Jason Kidd debacle. This time, however, we may actually have reasons to believe so. Here’s why:
The Stars Have Nash’s Respect
This reason is self explanatory. Steve Nash is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. If anyone were to gain respect from star players immediately, it would be Steve Nash. The man is a 2-time league MVP, 8-time All-Star, and a 7-time member of the All-NBA teams. Nash obviously knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the game of basketball.
Let’s not forget that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving basically hired him as well. It’s obvious that both stars had a say in who they wanted as head coach. Just like how LeBron James has a say in the moves the Los Angeles Lakers make, the same can be said for Durant and Irving. The NBA is a star-driven league today.
Nash is a Genius When it Comes to Offense
The 7 Seconds or Less Phoenix Suns of the 2000’s are among the most influential offensive philosophies in NBA history. Steve Nash’s production in that system helped catapult Phoenix into a contender almost immediately, and he became one of the all-time greats because of it. Looking back, not only did the system help open up the Suns’ full potential, but helped influence a future dynasty down the line.
That team was the Golden State Warriors.
For a while it seemed as if the Warriors could not get over the hump in the playoffs. They had drafted extremely well several years prior, but they were looking for someone to unlock the team’s full potential.
In comes Steve Kerr.
Kerr was recently let go of as the general manager of the Suns when he got the job with the Warriors. Once he got to Golden State, he immediately implemented the Suns’ 7 Seconds or Less System. In his first season as head coach, Kerr helped lead the Warriors to a championship and the rest is history.
It’s also important to note that Steve Nash was a consultant during this time with the Warriors. There he gained and received knowledge from the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and of course Kevin Durant. (You see the connection?)
The Nets are expected to have one of the best offenses next season and you can’t pick anyone better to lead them in this area than Steve Nash. He is an offensive genius with knowledge only a limited amount of people in basketball have.
The Stars Want a Collaborative Coaching Effort
In a recent podcast with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the two discussed the team’s recent hiring of Steve Nash. They both say the usual things you expect them to say, but one thing struck most Nets fans though. Irving said that the new coaching situation will be a collaborative effort. Irving is known for saying controversial things on his mind, and this of course led to headlines questioning his leadership. The thing is, Irving may have a point.
Durant and Irving are at a point in their careers where they don’t need to be coached and taught the game of basketball. They have both played on the biggest possible stages, so there really isn’t anything they don’t know about what it comes to the NBA.
Instead of being coached and instructed, similar to what Kenny Atkinson was doing, getting a good communicator may have been all the team needed to do. Durant and Irving can now communicate with a well-respected figure in Nash, then pass that on to the rest of the team. The superstars gain the control they wanted and the rest of the players get quality insight from some of the greatest basketball minds. Seems like a win/win to me.
Steve Nash has one of the best jobs in the NBA being able to coach two legit superstars. While the pressure may be high in his first year as head coach, I do believe Nash was the right hire. You can’t compare the situation Kidd was in to Nash’s because most of the team currently is in their prime. The Nets also didn’t sacrifice their entire future to be in the situation they are currently in either. Whether next season goes to plan or not, it is an exciting time to be a Brooklyn Nets fan. I can’t wait for opening night to finally see how this team will play once they are at full health.