When you’re a coach, and your star player says that he doesn’t see him having a coach, you can feel only feel a certain way. And by that, I don’t mean having butterflies in your stomach. That’s precisely what Steve Nash got from Kyrie Irving in his first stint as a head coach in the NBA.
Irving, by the way, didn’t expand his fan base in these last couple of months. His clumsy statement about Nets coaching staff, and comparing media members to pawns, didn’t go well with the audience. He doesn’t really come up as easy-going. Then there you also have KD, a prolific scorer who can, just as Irving, decide any basketball game.
Nash has two superstars who are new to the team and has zero experience as a leading coach. Considering both Kyrie and KD have had bumpy relationships with their coaches (and teammates), Nash will have a lot on his plate.
But if anyone can do it, it’s Nash. One of the best to ever do it, a brilliant playmaker who has an overall excellent basketball IQ just like his two stars. Equally important, Nash has a very high emotional IQ – that’s a must when dealing with KD and Kyrie. Nash worked out with Irving in 2014, and he was a player development consultant in Golden State for five years, so he had an opportunity to get to know KD. Not to mention Nash went through all of it in his career.
Nets have won their two preseason games, and both Kyrie and KD were at the top of their game. In the meantime, Kyrie has taken back his comments and praised Nash. So that has to be encouraging. As a player, Nash was calm in stressful situations, so there shouldn’t be so much doubt about him now.
And I’m thinking that he was relieved after hearing the Nets are out of the James Harden conversations. Just picture this: you’re doubling on Kyrie; in one corner, there’s Harden and in the other is Durant. You would think that’s the opponent’s worst nightmare but think about Nash trying to decide who gets the ball with five seconds remaining. Now he has to worry only about two of them.