Newly hired Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash commented that “he skipped the line” and got the chance to train an assumed opponent in the NBA championship is fair, but his 18-season career in Hall of Fame as a point guard who positioned him to have success as a first-time head coach.
“So, I skipped the line, frankly,”; Nash said in his virtual introductory conference news from the team’s training facility Wednesday afternoon. “But at the same time, I think leading an NBA team for almost two decades is pretty different. So while I don’t necessarily have learned some of the skills I definitely want to understand and learn up to technical aspect of Coaching, I am not far from there.
“So to lead a team in a unique position, to be the team leader on the floor, to think fast, to manage personalities and people, to set skills, and to include people, to work with a coach and a coaching staff for almost two decades, unlike I was in a vacuum. I learned a tremendous amount during my career. “
Not a bad day to introduce a new head coach. pic.twitter.com/rjkwJv3cra
– Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) September 9, 2020
There are many other former players who have reached head-coaching opportunities without experience, including Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers and Isiah Thomas. That team also includes Jason Kidd, a former Nash teammate and fellow point of Hall of the Fame point guard who, seven years ago, also had the opportunity to train a Nets team featuring players of stars and high expectations.
“I don’t grind it as an assistant coach like the path of many people, but there is a precedent for players with strong careers, who are leaders, anchors,” Nash said. “I think to get this opportunity, because Steve Kerr and a lot of other people have had great success, this is a unique situation, I think. But I definitely realize I need support. Hopefully. I will bring a lot of features and skills to the table that are unique and strong, but I will need support and a collaborative staff with a lot of experience and willingness to build it on me. “
Nash’s hire was met with criticism both due to his lack of coaching experience and because this summer saw many Black coaches being fired from jobs, leaving the current small number of minority coaches. in the NBA at five.
Nash, with a photo of George Floyd as his Twitter profile picture, was asked about the idea that white privilege played a role in him getting this opportunity. And while he said he thought his playing career was the reason he was hired, Nash said the white privilege was real.
“I benefited from the white privilege,” Nash said. “I am not saying that this position is a factor, up to white privilege. … I think, as white people, we should understand that we have a certain privilege and an advantage by the color of our skin. in our communities.We have a long way to go to find social and racial equality and justice.I hope I am a good ally in that regard.
“… I am very sensitive to cause and purpose. I am not sure this is an example that fits that conversation, but I own it, and I understand why it is being talked about. We need more diversity and more opportunities for African American coaches to staff in all competencies.The league was built by players and stars in Africa that made it one of the greatest entertainment and business industries in sports around the world.It’s really important that we continue to be together and against league level.
“… It’s fun, being an advocate and ally of the need for equality, to be placed in the middle of it, in a sense, because it’s something close and dear to my heart. But I accept it. I like it. to be part of the conversation. And, honestly, I want to be part of the change that is moving forward. “
Ever since her playing career ended, Nash has been an intriguing person for a variety of jobs. Outside of consulting with the Golden State Warriors and serving as general manager of the Canadian National Team, he previously avoided following any of them.
That is not the case with this job, however. Nash said he called Nets general manager Sean Marks earlier this summer and asked if it was too late for him to consider for work. From there, things moved quickly.
“I reached Sean at some point in the summer,” Nash said. “I do not remember exactly when that was, [and I] asked if this was the right time for me to throw my name on the hat and consider for the position. That’s what circled the ball. “
He also said that the high-profile nature of the work – in the largest city in the country, along with high-profile star players – was not the reason for his pursuit.
“There is no part of me that considers the profile [of the job] in getting a job, “Nash said.” Back there in the office with my coaching staff, who are here on the floor with the players, trying to build, as I said, a family and an environment that these people love to work on every day, keep growing and pushing to be better. We are all driving each other and supporting each other. I only consider work from a basketball perspective.
“I really approached it from, ‘Where am I on this journey of learning and growing up and asking questions and collecting information?’ This occasion was unique, coupled with the journey I was on, that I felt it was the right time, a moment in time, and I am so grateful to be together. “
Marks said Nash’s playing career was more than enough of a body of work for him to be trusted by a team with championship goals. Kevin Durant will return from a torn Achilles tendon to pair with Kyrie Irving, who will be coming from shoulder surgery.
“I think Steve is a bit weird,” Marks said when asked about Nash being a first-time head coach. “Look at the career path he has. I was also very lucky to be on one of the teams with him, so I got closer and personal relationship with Steve, and it goes back to just watching how he performed his himself, the leader that he is the same and out of court.I think that is very important.He was definitely a cultural driver in the days of the Suns when I was there.
“There’s no one around me who doesn’t want to be put under pressure in the area like Steve. He doesn’t go away for a while, so when you say first-time head coach, we’ve seen that done before. This person never run from anything.He wants the ball in his hands at the end of the games, and his career speaks for itself.He made the right decision many times more than not, and the experience he will bring here speaks volume. “
One of the main selling points of Nash’s candidacy, which goes beyond his playing career, is his relationship with Durant. The two have been working at Golden State for Durant’s three seasons there, and Nash has repeatedly said – including Wednesday – that Irving is one of his favorite players to watch in the NBA. Nash said he did not talk to Durant before talking to Marks about the job.
Nash played alongside stars like Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Amar’e Stoudemire and Shaquille O’Neal in her career. He said he expects his relationships with players like Durant and Irving to reflect what he has with other players.
“I also don’t think of it as star personalities, in the sense those people are my friends,” Nash said of his former teammates. “Those are my teammates and friends. So I feel like it’s not about their status, it’s about the person. Recognizing and understanding people is always something I enjoy. You need your companions on the floor, but on my floor they just need to be friends.
“I want to go to work every day and understand my teammates. I want to like them. I want to build a fabric between us that is made enjoyable, that we can have a laugh and a joke but also be honest and push each other and give each other a hard time and make the time shorter.So that is the kind of start and end for me.I understand that there are levels in this game and some people are higher profile, higher importance, but a team is a team and a person is a person. So to understand people, really care and want to get to know them, that’s for me. “