In a shocking move by the Brooklyn Nets, Steve Nash was hired this morning to be the 23rd head coach since the Nets joined the NBA. Steve Nash’s contract is a four-year deal, and Jacque Vaughn was moved from interim head coach to lead assistant. Personally, I thought that Jacque Vaughn did a spectacular job in the playoffs. He motivated his players and encouraged them to fight late in games. The Nets did get swept by the Raptors, but the effort was a direct connection to Jacque Vaughn’s coaching.
Sean Marks on Jacque Vaughn
When asked about Jacque Vaughn, Sean Marks said, “Jacque has been an integral part of our program and a key contributor to the growth and development of our entire organization. His role in developing our players both on and off the court and his influence driving our culture have been invaluable.” However, Vaughn is not the head coach, and the Nets looked towards Steve Nash.
Positives of Hiring Steve Nash
The first positive about this hire is that Nash has two MVP awards as a player, and was one of the most intelligent guards on the court. His passing and court vision led to Phoenix consistently leading the league in offensive efficiency. In addition, Nash led the league in assists five times and qualified for the NBA All-Star game eight times.
Besides being one of the greatest guards in history, Nash has been a player development coach for the Golden State Warriors for the last five years. One of the players that he frequently worked with was Kevin Durant, one of the Nets superstars. Durant and Nash are close friends, as KD said Nash was one of the people he spoke to before joining the Warriors. Also, Durant and Nash played against each other from 2007 to 2014, so there is a level of mutual respect between the two. There is no question that Kevin Durant had a lot to do with this hiring. In June, Marks said that KD has a “very loud voice” in major team decisions.
Concerns for Steve Nash as Head Coach
While the NBA community has tremendous respect for Steve Nash as a player, it is unclear whether or not he is prepared to be an NBA head coach. This situation is reminiscent of when Jason Kidd retired and became the coach of the Nets. Brooklyn entered that 2013-14 season with a 52.5 over/under for wins and they were seen as legitimate title contenders. In reality, Jason Kidd under coached his players. As a result, the team only went 44-38 and got bounced by Miami in the second round.
Another similar example is when Isiah Thomas coached the pacers in 2000-01 and 2001-02. Both of his teams lost in the first round. Then, the pacers got the first seed in the Eastern Conference as soon as he left the team.
Championship Expectations for Steve Nash
I am excited to see how Steve Nash can coach the Nets to a championship in 2021. Nash could either turn out to be a fantastic hire by Marks. But it could also go very wrong if Nash proves to be a poor head coach. I trust Sean Marks to bring in the correct coaches for the team to win a championship in 2021. As a result, the expectations for the team next year will be nothing short of a trophy.
The Brooklyn Nets will introduce Jason Kidd at a press conference on Wednesday, September 9.