The Brooklyn Nets are 2-5, with the second-worst defense in the NBA and an offense that has Ben Simmons playing like he’s afraid of getting fouled, and just falls apart anytime Kevin Durant goes to the bench — and that’s not even touching on the walking distraction that is Kyrie Irving. A team that entered the season with more questions than anyone could answer somehow has more of them seven games into the season.
Steve Nash is the fall guy for that.
Nash and the Nets have “agreed to part ways” the team announced Tuesday.
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) November 1, 2022
Jacque Vaughn will get the interim tag and coach tonight (Tuesday) against Chicago. How long he is in that role and who else the Nets might bring in is unknown, but names are already flying around.
This outcome is not a surprise around the league, even if the timing was unexpected. Kevin Durant called for Nash to be fired over the summer — part of a leverage move in his effort to get traded, but he still put it on the table — which made Nash’s unstable position even more tenuous. Nash is not seen around the league as a strong coach and the slow start had rumors flying.
Nash didn’t create the Nets’ problems — that was on the front office and the players themselves — but also he was not the coach to fix them.
The question becomes, who is? Who will the Nets bring in that commands the respect of Durant and Irving? Someone who can get this team to play defense despite being undersized? Who can walk in the door and start to smooth out the kinks in the offense mid-season? Does that person even exist?
Jacque Vaughn is the acting head coach tonight but expect the Nets to inquire with suspended Celtics coach Ime Udoka, Quin Snyder, among others. Boston will let Udoka leave for another job.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 1, 2022
Ime Udoka has emerged as an early frontrunner (meaning he has KD and Irving’s blessing) and is the coach who brought the Celtics together last season. However, he is away from those Celtics due to an improper relationship with a female subordinate, a situation ugly enough that Boston was willing to let the coach that took them to the Finals last season talk to other teams. Does Nets owner Joe Tsai want that PR?
Quin Snyder is a guy who coached a share-the-ball, selfless system in Utah that Donovan Mitchell at times chaffed against, but he’s an elite Xs and Os coach who understands defense.
It’s not Nash’s problem, he is out.