Newly-hired Nets coach Steve Nash discussed a number of topics related to the upcoming season with Steve Serby of the New York Post, including the pressure he could face as a first-year head coach, the team’s championship aspirations and more.
Nash doesn’t hold any prior coaching experience, though he’s set to bring in coaches such as Jacque Vaughn (lead assistant), Mike D’Antoni (longtime NBA head coach) and Ime Udoka (veteran NBA assistant) for his first season. The team also hired Nash’s former teammate, Amar’e Stoudemire, as a player development assistant last month.
“Not championship or bust, but we’re playing for a championship, that’s our goal,” Nash said when asked if he’s approaching this season with a championship or bust mentality. “I think it’s silly, the championship or bust, you never know. You have to have health, you have to have luck to win a championship. It’s not as simple as one plus one equals two, but we are playing for a championship. We are saying that out loud. That’s how we’re going to frame all the decisions we make and the effort and intensity that we train and play with.”
The 46-year-old also touched on subjects such as Kyrie Irving, his own playing days, the 2000 Olympics, and more. When asked what it would mean to win a championship as a rookie coach after never winning one as a player, Nash gave a humble response.
“It would mean everything to me, but honestly, it’s not about me,” he said. “I would be thrilled for our group, for the players, for the coaches. … Honestly, I would get as much joy, more joy, out of seeing our players, coaching staff, all departments win than the feeling I would get about me being a winner. To me, I love being a part of a group, part of a team, and seeing other people happy and succeed is as rewarding as anything and more rewarding than the individual glory. It would be unbelievable just to be a part of that, but to see everyone else’s satisfaction would mean the world to me.”
There’s more out of Brooklyn today:
- By hiring Mike D’Antoni as an assistant coach, the team is putting a clear emphasis on its offense for next season, Greg Logan of Newsday writes. D’Antoni, the architect of the well-documented “seven seconds or less” offense from his Suns teams in the mid 2000’s, will help coach a team that already includes the likes of Irving and Kevin Durant — two of the best offensive players of the past decade and beyond.
- Ime Udoka could prove to be a key hire for the franchise, Alex Schiffer of The Athletic opines. The defensive-minded Udoka holds several years of coaching experience and was an assistant under Gregg Popovich from 2012-19.
- Sports Illustrated examines whether the Nets are the NBA’s most interesting team. The franchise includes a unique nucleus of Durant, Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, DeAndre Jordan, Jarrett Allen and others, combined with a coaching staff that holds past ties to each other or to general manager Sean Marks.