It came out of nowhere - Steve Nash is the new coach of the Brooklyn Nets. As is tradition, the news came from Woj, but even he didn’t have any hints this could happen before the decision was made. You can tell Sean Marks used to be in San Antonio - nothing leaked. So how did this happen?
First of all, Marks and Nash go back a long way. From playing against each other for their national teams to playing together in Nash’s best career years in Phoenix - the two became friends. Over the years, they always talked about Nash’s next move, but Marks always felt some level of restraint from Nash. So it was a bit of a surprise for him as well when Nash reached out.
“This last summer, it changed because Steve searched me out when he knew the job was open and said, ‘Look, I want to put my hat in the ring here.’ It moved really quickly. [We are] obviously excited to have a guy of his caliber and stature to be coming in here to lead this organization forward.”
Sean Marks, The Woj Pod
Marks pointed out that alongside his basketball IQ and pedigree, Nash has a high emotional IQ. That’s going to be crucial in coaching two emotional (to put it mildly) guys in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Nash and KD worked together in Golden State, and Kyrie should click with one of the best point guards in NBA history.
But there is room for caution - Nash is a rookie without any coaching experience coming into a win-now situation. Everything except the Finals will be a failure for the Nets. Lucky for Nash, the last guy who did it is the head coach of the team he consulted for - Steve Kerr.
As Kerr did in Golden State, surrounding himself with experienced assistants will be crucial. That’s why getting Jacque Vaughn to stay with the team as the highest-paid assistant coach in the league is good news for Nets fans. Marks pointed out Nash insisted on it. Here’s how he explained the decision to get into coaching.
“In a way, I kind of kept it to myself to give me the freedom of not being on the radar of coaching expectancy. I’ve always known in the back of my mind that I’d love to do it.”
Steve Nash, The Undefeated
If you had to come up with a rookie coach who’d have a great chance to be a good coach from the get-go, you’d describe Steve Nash’s career. Let’s see how it goes.