Nets Hire Steve Nash As Head Coach

The Nets have hired former two-time MVP Steve Nash as their new head coach, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Nash has signed a four-year contract from the club, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The team has confirmed the hire in a press release.

“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “In Steve we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players.

“I have had the privilege to know Steve for many years. One of the great on-court leaders in our game, I have witnessed firsthand his basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritize team success. His instincts for the game, combined with an inherent ability to communicate with and unite players towards a common goal, will prepare us to compete at the highest levels of the league.”

Former head coach Jacque Vaughn, who took the reins from Kenny Atkinson in March and received consideration for the permanent job, will remain with the franchise as the lead assistant on Nash’s staff, as reported by Wojnarowski and confirmed by the club. He’ll become the highest-paid assistant in the NBA, according to Woj, who says that Vaughn likely would’ve earned the permanent job if Nash hadn’t been available.

The hiring of Nash comes as a major surprise — not only was he not previously mentioned as a potential candidate for Brooklyn, but it wasn’t clear he was even interested in an NBA head coaching job. He has worked in recent years as a consultant for the Warriors, where he developed a relationship with Kevin Durant, who had a voice in the Nets’ search process.

As Wojnarowski explains, Nets owner Joseph Tsai and Marks were “aggressive” in their efforts to recruit Nash. The Hall-of-Fame point guard has received overtures in recent years from teams interested in hiring him to a coaching or front office role, per Woj. Nash said today in a statement that coaching was something he always wanted to pursue “when the time was right.”

Nash, who has no previous coaching experience, will assume control of a Nets team that will enter the 2020/21 season with a healthy Durant and Kyrie Irving and has championship aspirations. As a former MVP who played in an NBA All-Star game as recently as 2012, Nash will presumably command the respect of Brooklyn’s stars and other veterans.

With Nash installed as their head coach, the Nets will no longer move forward with their rumored pursuit of Gregg Popovich, so it looks like a safe bet that Popovich will continue coaching the Spurs. The Nets’ decision also takes one potential suitor off the table for Tyronn Lue, who is expected to be one of the year’s hottest coaching candidates and has reportedly drawn interest from the Pelicans and Sixers in addition to Brooklyn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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71 thoughts on “Nets Hire Steve Nash As Head Coach

  1. Well that was unexpected but with his basketball IQ and time spent with the Warriors I think he’ll be a great head coach

    • Sillivan

      He is comparable to Steve Kerr

      Why didn’t Warriors hire Nash as a head coach In 2014?

      • Guys take a little time off once they retire from playing. Nash wouldn’t have been available to the Warriors, he would have said no. Plus he hasn’t shown anything in analytics as a broadcaster to know what he’s doing or talking about. Kerr proved sideline basketball knowledge and back office ins and outs as a GM for the Suns as well.

        Sure Nash is a great player and he’s a point guard but that doesn’t always translate to Great coach. I love this hire though.. I think it’s better than a retread. Let’s see how he does.. and will the players respond? But I love it. No reason this won’t work.

    • Al Hirschen

      KD ,Irving Jorden made big push for Nash and owner started working in mid March on him

  2. Black Ace57

    WOW, that was unexpected. I wish him the best he seems like he could be a good coach and I wish him and the Nets the best.

  3. jacobsigel1025

    Nash was a great leader on and off the court with one of the highest basketball IQ’s of his generation. This is completely out of left field but I’m down for his return to the league

  4. DynamiteAdams

    I’m surprised by this. It’s a good hire in my opinion, he’s always been a high IQ basketball player and he has a familiarity with KD from his time at GS. The fact there were no rumors about Nash even considering a HC role is really why it feels out of the blue.

    • Howie415

      Oh my gawd!!! That is the first thing I thawt ov. The chicks must dig him. I bet he has big feet too.

      • x%sure

        I don’t think there is a head-foot correlation, but he’s probably too loaded to care anyway.
        Be careful if you see a cardboard cutout Big Head of his bobbing up and down, it might be him! Okay bad joke. Inappropiate. After all he was celebrated in a popular rap song even though white.

  5. nathans

    I love Steve Nash as a player and Former Mavericks Great…..He has absolutely no coaching experience and he will be expected to coach this team to the NBA Finals with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving…..this will either turn out great or this could blow up.

  6. Unbelievable I knew Steve Nash would coach someday. But I think he be coaching the nets. Have some concerns about him coaching Kevin Durant and kyrie Irving.

    • I see Nash as an accommodating personality with zero ego. He won’t put himself in front of the team.

      • Nash seems like the type of guy Kyrie would respect, same position and multiple MVPs. I don’t see Kyrie or KD being a problem next year

  7. Curtisrowe

    Oh, that’s going to work out wonderfully. A coach with no experience coaching Kyrie and Durant. Brilliant idea.

      • Curtisrowe

        Oh, I forgot when Kerr coached Kyrie and Durant in his first season as a rookie coach.

      • Steve Kerr was in a unique situation. Mark Jackson built the team and brought it to respectability based on defense. Jackson’s offensive schemes were another story. Kerr came in and did not have to rebuild culture or accountability. Mark Jackson laid all that out for three years. All Kerr had to do was come up with a Popovich, Dantoni, Phil Jackson ball movement offensive game plan that would work for the Warriors roster. We all saw how that came to play out.

        Nash on the other hand has to start from scratch with two new allstar players and a bunch of so-so holdovers. He will rely heavily on Jacques Vaughn, which is why he’s the highest paid assistant in the league now.

        Nash may be doing a lot of watching as Vaughn runs the team through training camp. Nash will be more of a tweaker than a coach who institutes his Playbook and his own training camp regimen.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      I don’t forsee him having any issues coaching Durant. Kyrie, otoh, very well could be a different story.

  8. Otogar

    Once upon a time, a star-studded team hired an inexperienced Jason Kidd as their coach. And it was not great.

      • bowserhound

        Marc Jackson got that team to where it was, Kerr just got handed the keys to a juggernaut. He may have took them to a slightly higher level, but don’t act like he took the Bad News Bears to the championship.

        • Otogar

          Exactly. GSW was a team with a solid foundation that needed to take the next step. The situation was very different.

        • Mark Jackson was one of the worst coaches in the league. Why do you think he never got another coaching job? The Warriors were going nowhere with him.

        • Jackson is a great defense coach but did a very poor job handling GSW offense. Many people commented on how GSW should have been in the championship the year before they won it all but jackson made to many bad offense decisions.

      • Curtisrowe

        Reno, Steve Kerr was a GM before he was a coach. You can keep repeating the same thing over and over but it’s apples and oranges.

        • phenomenalajs

          So, Steve Nash had front office positions with GSW and Team Canada on top of his Hall of Fame playing career, so it’s not like he’s completely unqualified.

            • Curtisrowe

              Again, apples and oranges for a guy who was a general manager to get a head coach position over a guy like Nash who was a “part time consultant”

              • El Don

                But Kerr was a bad player & Nash a legend! That trumps front office jobs & assistant silly jobs.
                Nash will be good, no worries about him dude!

                • You lost all expertise of NBA knowledge to say Kerr was a bad player. He was a great 3 point shooter on a great team. One of the best of his era. You don’t play 13 years in the NBA if you are a bad player

                  • hiflew

                    Kerr was a decent enough role player, someone every good team needs, but he was nothing compared to a guy like Nash who won multiple MVP awards. The only thing they really have in common is their skin color.

                • wagner13

                  Success on the court doesn’t directly translate to success as a coach or in the front office. Ask Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan how that’s working out

                  • 4Quarters

                    To be fair, Isiah has an eye for talent. He just spends the entire cap on those players and grins after.

                    Solid point tho.

  9. Sillivan

    Nets owner is Chinese so he doesn’t let people know who they have interviewed
    Warriors have 3 legends now they lose Jerry West and Nash

  10. Sillivan

    Including money as a factor Nets coach job is the best,my ranking
    Nets

    Knicks
    Pacers job security
    Bulls cost saving
    Rockets cost saving and job security
    76ers cost saving and need overachievement

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      What?! So if you were a coach, you’d rather deal with Kyrie than coach a playoff team in Indiana? What about the New Orleans job? I don’t understand putting the two most undesirable gigs in the NBA 1&2, but it’s your list.

      • kylewait89

        So Indy is a good job. But notice how you said playoff team? That’s what they are. They’ll get into the playoffs. But aren’t winning a title. They have a good team full of good players. No top end talent and that’ll get coaches fired.

        • Appalachian_Outlaw

          I mean aren’t most coaching jobs a case of getting hired to eventually be fired though? I’d rather have to answer to my owner or GM for consistently being a mid-seeded playoff team than try to explain why my team chemistry is a mess and I can’t handle one of my star players. Also, you’re going to get some leash in Indiana.

    • hiflew

      So? He would likely contribute more victories for your team in the 3-4 years he stays than those 2 random 1st rounders would.

  11. kylewait89

    Smart move but, they are a move away from contending. Just my opinion but I don’t see Kyrie, Caris, Harris, KD and either Allen or Jordan competing for a title. Dinwiddie and Prince are good pieces but you figure they’d be expendable if they could land someone to boost the top tier talent. They still have Ty Johnson and TLC who aren’t big time contributors but if they’re your 8th and 9th guys, it’s not the worst thing in the world.

    This is the second straight offseason where they look like they’re moving to actually compete.

  12. Dxit90a

    Going to winter sting to see if Nash adopts D’Antoni style basketball or he has his own style. I believe Durant will control Kyrie to help out Nash .

  13. Curtisrowe

    Again, apples and oranges for a guy who was a general manager to get a head coach position over a guy like Nash who was a “part time consultant”

  14. El Don

    Great choice! Steve Nash will be a great coach! Better than retreads or the same long list of assistants we keep reading about! Really exciting times comin’ to BRK!

    • mrshyguy99

      how is this a great choice. what has he done to show he will be a great coach. just because you were a great players doesnt always mean great coach. how many hall of fame type players turn into great players?

    • stevep-4

      It could be great. He was a very smart player, also very talented. So he could understand Kyrie and KD well, as he is equivalent. I would certainly bet on a smart former player with no coaching experience more than a coach with a lot of experience who cannot get the respect of his players. Not sure if Nash will get the respect, but I cannot conceive that Nets would hire a coach without running it past their two stars. Just my thoughts.

  15. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    My gut feeling is that this will either be a spectacular success or a monumental failure, but nothing in between. Rollin’ the dice!!

  16. x%sure

    Nash did not toy with opponents like Irving is inclined to do. Nash got done what he wanted to do very quickly, while Irving learned hero-ball from LJ. Both seemed to take pride in their differing styles. I wonder how Nash and Irving will get along.
    Good news, Durant will be there to tell them both to listen.

    It is possible other Nets would prefer a coach who will lean into Irving ball-holding, even as the star Nets likely wanted someone that would not push them into a predetermined system… Nash may not even have one!

  17. KnickerbockerAl

    Nash lived in NY during off season. Even played soccer in local leagues. He knows NYC. Which is a big plus. Loved him as player. But he is stepping into a big time pressure job. Never saw this coming. Gotta give it to him he’s got big ones. If Ky listens and learns. He can help him be best PG in NBA. Nets are going to be good regardless of coach. They need a leader they will listen to and believe in. If they are going to contend. PGs make the best coaches. Wish him the best

  18. It’s a players league. NBA HC’s aren’t about X’s and O’s, and each job is a different one. The best HC is the one that’s the best fit for the players, particularly a team with veteran stars thrown together like the Nets. Nash might be a good choice. There was no obviously better one.

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