Nets Notes: Durant, Nash, Simmons, Irving, Udoka

Nets forward Kevin Durant said on Tuesday night that he was surprised to learn of Steve Nash‘s exit from his position as Brooklyn’s head coach, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.

“You’re always shocked when a move like this happens,” Durant said after the Nets’ loss to Chicago. “But it’s normal in the NBA. It’s about getting ready for the game tonight. It’s a quick turn always in the league, especially during the season. You’ve got practice, games coming up, so you can’t think too much about it. It was on my mind for a little bit today.”

As Friedell notes, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters earlier in the day on Tuesday that he hadn’t consulted with Durant and/or Kyrie Irving before making the decision to part ways with Nash. Durant’s comments seemed to confirm that was true.

Asked why he felt like things didn’t work out with Nash in Brooklyn, Durant didn’t blame his former head coach for the team’s shortcomings, even though offseason reports indicated that he had pushed for Nash’s firing.

“We didn’t have a healthy team. We just didn’t play well,” Durant said. “And that’s what happens in the league. S–t happens. That doesn’t take away from Steve’s basketball IQ, how he teaches the game. I don’t think that takes away from anything. It just didn’t work out.”

Asked in Miami about Nash’s departure, Steve Kerr – one of the NBA’s longest-tenured head coaches – essentially agreed with Durant’s assessment, referring to Nash as “brilliant” and suggesting that the former MVP could thrive in a more “stable environment,” according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link).

“Erik’s got a (solid situation) here,” Kerr said, referring to Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. “I’ve got one in Golden State. We’re really lucky. You throw either one of us in that situation, we wouldn’t have done any better than Steve. That’s the truth.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Ian Begley of, who previously reported that the Nets had briefly engaged in “cursory” trade talks with a Western Conference team, says those discussions were about a veteran shooter, adding that Ben Simmons‘ name came up. While Begley cautions that those talks may not have advanced beyond the exploratory stage, he says Brooklyn was rumored to be “aggressive” in its pursuit of shooting.
  • Like the NBA did on Saturday, the National Basketball Players Association issued a fairly toothless statement on Tuesday, condemning antisemitism in general terms without mentioning NBPA vice president Irving by name or specifically rebuking his promotion of an antisemitic film on social media.
  • During Tuesday’s TNT broadcast, broadcaster and former NBA star Reggie Miller called out the players’ response to the Irving situation, expressing dissatisfaction that there has been silence from players who haven’t hesitated to speak out on other social justice issues, writes Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post. “The players have dropped the ball on this case when it’s been one of their own. It’s been crickets,” Miller said after lauding the players’ criticism of owners like Donald Sterling and Robert Sarver. “And it’s disappointing, because this league has been built on the shoulders of the players being advocates. Right is right and wrong is wrong.”
  • If the Nets move forward with their reported plan to hire Ime Udoka as their new head coach, it could be another landmine for the franchise, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, who notes that the full story on Udoka’s off-court conduct in Boston still hasn’t come out publicly. As Lewis relays, a league insider told NetsDaily that Udoka “repeatedly” sent inappropriate messages to women on the Celtics‘ staff.
  • Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports makes the case that the best play for the dysfunctional Nets would be to trade Durant.
  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst passes along all of Sean Marks‘ noteworthy statements from his Tuesday media session, attempting to read between the lines of those comments.
View Comments (24)