The Brooklyn Nets became the only team to be swept out of the playoffs this year when they got humiliated by the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
Aside from the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nets are undoubtedly the biggest disappointment of the 2021-22 NBA season. For a group that came into the year as the favorites to claim a championship, to say they underwhelmed would be an understatement.
Much as was the case with the Lakers, the first person who came under scrutiny after Brooklyn’s collapse was head coach Steve Nash.
On Tuesday, a bit of clarity emerged regarding Nash’s future with the organization.
“Sources I’ve spoken with in recent days don’t expect Nash to be fired, but we’re only days removed from the series loss and the evaluation stage is only beginning for Brooklyn’s brass,” reported Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
Obviously it’s good that Nash’s position is secure, for now – but it sounds like the review process is only just beginning.
What Nash does have going for him, however, is his relationship with Nets star Kevin Durant.
“Nash has received the brunt of criticism for Brooklyn’s failings to free Durant for easy looks,” reported Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
“Questions have indeed circulated around the league about the two-time MVP’s staying power helming Brooklyn’s bench. But Nash harbors a deep relationship with Durant and was stamped by the Nets’ centerpiece just two seasons ago. Marks consults Durant on every major decision within Brooklyn’s basketball operations. There’s been no indication that Durant’s opinion on Nash has changed.”
That said, Fischer did highlight a previously undiscussed option: Nash walking away on his own.
“The event that could lead to a change in the Nets’ head coach may be Nash deciding to walk away from the situation himself,” he reported.
“Speculation about that possibility has also begun to churn in league circles, even inside the Nets’ facilities. A decorated former player doesn’t exactly need the dramatic trappings of a superteam and all the time away from family that coaching demands.”
Thus far, the Nets have approached their failures pretty soberly. Durant was very honest about the status of his relationship with teammate, Kyrie Irving, when pressed on it this week.
Irving, similarly, kept it real on how Ben Simmons’ so-called back injury impacted the squad overall.
That’s one way to do it.https://t.co/d5YLgsOnHX
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 28, 2022
In that spirt, it would seem like the Nets would continue to review everything that has happened up to this point with the same straightforward perspective. If it is determined that Nash is a problem, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see the sentiments around retaining him change.
This promises to be an interesting summer.
Will Nash be back with the Nets come 2022-23? Time will tell.