KD brings a whole new dynamic to the Brooklyn squad, but the Nets have shaped their coaching staff to fit a team led by Durant and Kyrie Irving. New head coach Steve Nash was the big announcement, but the team recently revealed that he will be flanked by Mike D’Antoni and former teammate Amar’e Stoudemire.
Doug Norrie: It was clear that Nash wanted to hire a player here. There were the Dirk rumors when he turned it down. Raja Bell went on a podcast and said Nash had called him almost right away… So it was clear that Nash and Sean Marks wanted to hire an ex-player that I think they thought could probably communicate really well with these guys…
What we’ve seen from KD and Kyrie, specifically, is that these guys, for better or for worse, are into appearances. I don’t mean appearances by like the way they look, but by who they respect within the NBA circle. I think, again, for better or for worse… it’s very clear that both of them are in tune with who they are willing to listen to and who they’re willing to take orders from. Who they feel are their peers.
That’s a better way to say it, who they feel their peers are both basketball-wise, talent-wise, and superstar-wise. I think from that standpoint, bringing in Amar’e was much better than bringing in just another X’s and O’s guy that could round out the staff. I think he’s there for a specific reason, which is to convey a superstar mindset in a way that can get passed from the coaches to the players.
It’s a buy-in thing more than anything else… I think that from that standpoint, it’s just, it’s reading the room, right in the room says, we need this guy. The room says we do not want Kenny Atkinson. The room says I don’t think we even want Jacque Vaughn as the head coach. As the guy that’s going to be the tip of the spear. I think from that standpoint, that’s where the Amar’e hiring sets for me, it makes a lot of sense to bring on a guy that these guys look up to. I think from almost everything we’ve seen from them [Nets], it’s very important that they have guys in the staff that they respect.