‘They don’t respect him’: Shaq gets real on Steve Nash’s status with Nets after Kevin Durant demanded to have him fired
Kevin Durant shocked the basketball world earlier this summer when he demanded that Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks be relieved from their respective posts. KD pretty much gave the organization an ultimatum as he made them choose between himself and Nash/Marks. His ploy didn’t work, though, and apparently, they’ve now all ironed out their differences as they look to move forward toward a fruitful campaign ahead.
If you ask Los Angeles Lakers icon Shaquille O’Neal, however, it is clear that the damage has been done. Shaq recently sat down for an interview with Bill Difilippo of Uproxx and one of the subjects of conversation turned to his former Phoenix Suns teammate Steve Nash, who currently serves as the Nets’ head coach. When asked to share his thoughts on Nash’s current standing in Brooklyn, Shaq started off by sharing a bit of an anecdote:
“Before I answer the question, I’m gonna tell you a little story,” Shaq said. “A guy asked me the other day, ‘you ever think about coaching?’ And the answer is no. He said why? When a guy makes 20 times more than you, it’s gonna be hard for them to respect you. It shows that they don’t respect him.”
It was at this point when O’Neal dropped a truth bomb about Durant and Co. not having any respect for their coach:
“All the ‘I want him gone, I want him gone,’ and then to come back and say we worked it out, nah, it ain’t that easy. As adults, we can have a heart-to-heart, we can iron it out,” Shaq continued. “But it’s still right here. So when things don’t go right, they’re gonna blame it on him. So, he’s gonna have to demand their respect. As a player, if you know you were better than a former player who’s now a coach, it’s gonna be hard for you to, in tough situations, listen to him. So, it’s gonna be tough.”
To be fair, Steve Nash was by no means a scrub during his time in the NBA. The Hall of Fame point guard once won back-to-back MVP titles in consecutive seasons — something that KD was never able to achieve.
Nevertheless, Shaq believes that Nash has to do something to make his mark on the team. He can’t be taking all this nonsense from his players:
“I know the coaches I played for, they put their foot down,” he said. “Sometimes you got to put your foot down, even if the player makes a $50 million, you got to put your foot down, especially if they ain’t gonna step up, anyway.”
Steve Nash was an undoubtedly remarkable floor general throughout his decorated NBA career. It goes without saying, however, that he still has a lot to prove in terms of being a coach in the league.