Steve Nash was hired as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday morning.
It was an unexpected development, to say the least.
Tyronn Lue, Mark Jackson and a bevy of other big names were considered options for Brooklyn, as was interim head coach Jacque Vaughn.
Instead team owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks went in a completely different direction.
“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” Marks said of the hire.
“In Steve we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players.”
Nash is obviously excited about the task in front of him.
“I am honored to have this opportunity with such a 1st-class organization,” he said after the announcement.
“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 brings no head coaching experience to the table, but does have some things going for him. Tsai and Marks appreciated the bond the 46-year-old had formed with Kevin Durant while serving as a consultant with the Golden State Warriors.
Moreover, Nash has always been widely respected by his peers and is known for being one of the brightest minds to ever play the game. Nets brass is hoping the intelligence that the two-time league MVP displayed while leading those legendary Phoenix Suns team will translate to the coaching ranks as well.
Knowing that Vaughn wanted the head coaching opportunity for himself, Tsai and Marks softened the Nash blow by making him the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA.
CP3 was crushed. https://t.co/bLasqzXmqT
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 3, 2020
If Nash ultimately fails, Vaughn will get the opportunity to pick up the pieces.
Brooklyn obviously made a risky decision here. Players, even legendary ones like Nash, are a mixed bag when they try their hands at coaching.
It remains to be seen how smooth Nash’s transition will end up being.
This hire by the Nets will have a domino effect around the league.
It all but guarantees that Lue will end up with the Philadelphia 76ers and confirms that Gregg Popovich will remain with the San Antonio Spurs.
Contract terms between Nash and the Nets are expected to be made available later in the day.