Nets hire Hall of Famer Steve Nash as head coach

The Brooklyn Nets named Hall of Famer and two-time league MVP Steve Nash as the franchise’s 23rd head coach on Thursday.

“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” general manager Sean Marks said in a news release. “In Steve we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players. I have had the privilege to know Steve for many years. One of the great on-court leaders in our game, I have witnessed firsthand his basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritize team success. His instincts for the game, combined with an inherent ability to communicate with and unite players towards a common goal, will prepare us to compete at the highest levels of the league.”

Nash, 46, spent the past five seasons as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors. The team made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won two championships during that span.

Steve Nash’s first head coaching job

This is his first head coaching job. He signed a four-year contract with the Nets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Steve Nash
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

“I am honored to have this opportunity with such a first-class organization and would like to thank Sean, (owner) Joe (Tsai) and his wife, Clara, for having faith in my ability to lead this team forward,” Nash said in the release. “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. I am as excited about the prospects of the team on the court as I am about moving to Brooklyn with my family and becoming impactful members of this community.”

The 2018 Hall of Fame inductee played point guard for 18 seasons in the NBA from 1996-97 to 2013-14. The eight-time All-Star earned back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards with the Phoenix Suns in 2004-05 and 2005-06, becoming just the 10th player to win the award in consecutive seasons.

Nash led the league in assists five times and ranks third on the all-time list with 10,335 assists, trailing only John Stockton and former Nets coach Jason Kidd. He also tallied 17,387 points, 3,642 rebounds and 1,685 3-pointers in 1,217 games with the Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.

“We are excited to welcome Steve to the Nets family and look forward to a successful and meaningful partnership,” Tsai in a statement. “Steve shares our vision for the future of this franchise and his character exemplifies the core principles of our organization in working to serve our communities. I can’t wait for Steve to get started.”

A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Nash is one of the most accomplished figures in Canadian basketball history. He was a member of Team Canada from 1993-2004 and served as general manager for the senior national team from 2012-19. Nash played collegiately for four seasons at Santa Clara University prior to being selected 15th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft.

The Nets also announced that interim coach Jacque Vaughn will return to Brooklyn as lead assistant coach.

“Jacque has been an integral part of our program and a key contributor to the growth and development of our entire organization,” Marks said. “His role in developing our players both on and off the court and his influence driving our culture have been invaluable. Our players will benefit from the continuity of Jacque’s presence, and we are extremely fortunate to keep him in our Nets family.”

The Nets finished 35-37 and were swept in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs this season. Superstar forward Kevin Durant missed the entire season with an Achilles injury and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving was limited to just 20 games due to injuries.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)