On Thursday, the NBA world was shocked by the rarest of occurrences: A large personnel move that wasn’t preceded by any smoke, rumors, or reports. The news? Basketball legend Steve Nash would be taking over as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash has signed a four-year contract to become the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 3, 2020
While the news was surprising because it wasn’t on the public’s radar, anyone who’s followed the Golden State Warriors in recent years can see why it makes sense. Nash has spent the last four years as a consultant to the Warriors, showing up at occasional practices and camps to work on things with Golden State’s players.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has mentioned that Nash is able to communicate with players like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant better than Kerr can, because he can relate to what life is like as an NBA superstar, and can break down details and adjustments that help offensive focal points. In addition to that, it was clear during his Warriors tenure that Nash knew how to communicate with players — especially ones who had every reason to have large egos.
So the move makes sense from that standpoint, as Durant headed to Brooklyn last offseason to team up with good friend and fellow star Kyrie Irving. Not only do the Nets have two superstar talents, but they have two of the most interesting locker room personalities. Both Durant and Irving are well-liked by their peers, but have a knack for creating awkward or uncomfortable locker room environments.
Nash — who not only was a superstar himself, but called Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki his teammates at various times his career — should be able to handle that dynamic as well as anyone, especially since he clearly has Durant’s support.
The Nets are one of the most intriguing teams for next season, as they’ll be wondering how Durant and Irving return from their injuries, how the friends perform as teammates, and how their new two-time MVP coaching hire does in his first time out as a coach. It will be fascinating to see how it all works out.
Congrats to the Hall of Famer, and thanks for the work you did with the Warriors.