Steve Nash declares Kyrie Irving as one of his favorite players of all time
Nash, who was brought on to serve as the Nets’ head coach earlier this month, says Irving is one of his favorite players of all time, adding that he’s looking forward to expanding their relationship:
Steve Nash says Kyrie Irving is one of his favorite players of all time. He worked out w/Irving a few years ago & has spoken to him since taking the job. Nash said he’s looking forward to coaching Irving & expanding their relationship. Praises Irving’s social justice initiatives.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) September 9, 2020
There were some who were opposed to Nash being offered the Nets’ head coaching job, as he has no prior experience in that field. Others, including ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, claimed that Nash got the job because of “white privilege.” However it came to pass, the eight-time All-Star and two-time MVP is excited for this next venture in life:
“The why is that I love to teach. I love to learn,” Nash told ESPN’s The Undefeated in a phone interview Thursday. “I love being a part of a team and building a team. And I love to compete. It has all the ingredients in terms of satisfying growing as a person, leading a team and a group of people. Learning from the people and the game. Being part of an organization and a culture. And then competition.
“Those are the ingredients that excite me and put me in a position to be thrilled to take this opportunity.”
Though he’s never been a head coach, the Nets are looking for Nash to instill his 20 years of NBA experience into the players on the roster. He’s replacing Jaque Vaughn, who served as the team’s interim coach in the wake of Kenny Atkinson’s firing earlier this season.
Steve Nash on being hired with no head coaching experience: "Well I did skip the line, frankly, but at the same time I think leading an NBA team for 20 years is pretty unique." #Nets
— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) September 9, 2020
With stars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on the roster, the Nets will likely be a favorite for the 2020-21 campaign, especially in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn finished with a 35-37 overall record this season, which earned the team a No. 7 seed in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Durant missed the entire season in recovery, and Irving played in just 20 games. Both are expected to be ready for the coming season.
Nash, who retired as a player in 2014, does have a relationship with Durant, as he served as a player development consultant on the Golden State Warriors’ staff while the former Texas Longhorn was there. Nash’s relationship with Irving is a bit less pronounced, but they have spent time together in the past.
Steve Nash hosted his annual celebrity soccer event in NYC ahead of the NBA Draft, which attracted players over the years. Who showed up in 2014? Kyrie Irving. Who showed up in 2016? Kevin Durant.
— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) September 3, 2020
For now, we’ll have to wait and see what sort of bond develops between Steve Nash and Kyrie Irving.