In an out-of-the-blue move that’s even more surprising than last year’s Clean Sweekp, the Nets have named Steve Nash as the 23rd head coach in the franchise’s NBA history.
The team also announced that Jacque Vaughn, who replaced Kenny Atkinson as head coach in early March, will be retained as lead assistant. Nash, a native of South Africa who grew up in Canada and played 18 seasons, all in the Western Conference, has no head of assistant coaching experience.
Nash joins the Nets following five seasons as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors, where he contributed to two NBA Championship teams and made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. In that capacity, he worked with Kevin Durant, one of the Nets two superstars.
“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” said Sean Marks.
“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. We are excited to welcome Steve, Lilla, Lola, Bella, Matteo, Luca and Ruby to Brooklyn.”
Marks also praised Vaughn, who many had seen as a front runner for the head coaching job.
“We are thrilled to retain Jacque as a leading member of our coaching staff,” continued Marks. “Jacque has been an integral part of our program and a key contributor to the growth and development of our entire organization. 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.”
Nash, an eight-time all-star and member of Team Canada, expressed his thanks to the organization.
“I am honored to have this opportunity with such a first-class organization and would like to thank Sean, Joe and his wife, Clara, for having faith in my ability to lead this team forward,” said Nash. “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.”
“We are excited to welcome Steve to the Nets family and look forward to a successful and meaningful partnership,” said Nets Governor Joe Tsai. “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.”