ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news of this hiring. Nash, who hung up his playing shoes in 2014, signed a four-year deal.
Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash has signed a four-year contract to become the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 3, 2020
Though this hire seemed to come out of left field, Steve Nash noted that he has pondered the thought of a coaching career in the past, but only when the time was right:
“Coaching is something I knew I wanted to pursue when the time was right, and I am humbled to be able to work with the outstanding group of players and staff we have here in Brooklyn,” Nash said in a prepared statement released on Thursday, via Yahoo. “I am as excited about the prospects of the team on the court as I am about moving to Brooklyn with my family and becoming impactful members of this community.”
It’s worth noting that Nash already shares relationships with several members of the Nets organization, including Kevin Durant. When the Golden State Warriors won the 2017 and 2018 championships, Nash was serving as a player development coach for the team. Interestingly, those were his first rings.
Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks were aggressive in recruiting Nash to make the move to coaching, according to NBA.com. Marks has known Nash for quite a while, and he seems thrilled to have him aboard:
“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” Marks said in a statement released by the Nets. “In Steve we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players. I have had the privilege to know Steve for many years.
“One of the great on-court leaders in our game, I have witnessed firsthand his basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritize team success. His instincts for the game, combined with an inherent ability to communicate with and unite players towards a common goal, will prepare us to compete at the highest levels of the league. We are excited to welcome Steve, Lilla, Lola, Bella, Matteo, Luca and Ruby to Brooklyn.”
Jacque Vaughn, who is currently serving as the Net’s interim coach, will serve as Nash’s lead assistant, according to Yahoo. Brooklyn finished with a 35-37 overall record in the 2019-20 regular season, earning the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Unfortunately, though, the Nets were swept by the Toronto Raptors in the opening round.
“We are thrilled to retain Jacque as a leading member of our coaching staff,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a press release.
Vaughn led the Nets to a 5-3 record inside the NBA’s bubble before beinf swept by the Raptors in the opening round of the playoffs. By most accounts, the team has been impressed with his work ethic.
Nash has an impressive slate of achievements as a player, including two MVP awards, eight All-Star nods and three All-NBA First Team selections. He also led the league in assists five times over the course of his career. He’s currently ranked third in NBA history with 10,335 career assists. Impressive numbers on the court, to be sure, but this will be his first run as a head coach.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were sidelined for much of the 2019-20 campaign due to injuries. In fact, Irving played just 20 games, while Durant missed the entire season. However, both stars are expected to be ready for next season. Let’s see how Nash chooses to utilize the talent at his disposal.