Warriors’ Steve Kerr: Nets Naming Steve Nash Head Coach Is an ‘Incredible Hire’

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Steve Kerr gave his stamp of approval on the Brooklyn Nets’ hire of Steve Nash as their next head coach, per comments to Tim Kawakawi of The Athletic:

“I think it’s great… It’s an incredible hire. And Sean Marks and Steve and I were all in Phoenix together. I was GM and Sean and Steve were both on the team and they were really, really tight. So that part I think is really, really important. That connection. So I’m happy for both of them.”

Kerr was the Phoenix Suns’ general manager from 2007-2010, which overlaps with Nash’s second tenure in Arizona between 2004 and 2012. Marks, the current Nets GM and an ex-player, came off the Suns bench in 2007 and 2008.

As Kawakami noted, Nash worked as a player-development consultant for the Warriors for five years beginning in 2015. Nash worked with ex-Warrior forward and current Net Kevin Durant, and that link couldn’t have hurt the two-time NBA MVP’s chances of landing the head coaching job in Brooklyn.

“There was an existing relationship before we even signed Kevin,” Kerr told Kawakami about Nash and Durant.

“And you can even look online, I wouldn’t call it a documentary, but some kind of TV show where he interviewed Kevin and you could tell they really hit it off in this interview. I think Kevin has great respect for Steve because he watched him growing up and then played against him late in Steve’s career. There’s an inherent respect. Mutual respect.”

Durant also reportedly consulted with Nash before leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors in free agency in 2016, per Kawakami, who noted that the point guard was one of the last people KD spoke with before making his call.

Nash has no previous head coaching experience, but he played in the NBA from 1996-2014, won back-to-back MVP awards, made eight All-Star teams and seven All-NBA teams and led the league in assists five times. He’s also a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

There will undoubtedly be a learning curve as he adjusts into a coaching role, but Kerr, who became a first-time head coach when the Warriors hired him in 2014, has confidence in Nash, per Kawakami.

“Yeah, he’ll be fine. He knows the drill. He’s been in the league forever and he knows the game as well as anybody and he understands people. And I think he’s very wise, so he’ll hire a good staff. And everything that he needs to learn, he’ll learn quickly. It’ll happen so quickly for him just to get the rhythm and the feel and I’m sure he’ll hire a great staff to help him along.”

Nash will take over for interim coach Jacque Vaughn, who will stay on his staff as his top assistant.

Vaughn previously assumed the team’s coaching responsibilities in early March after Kenny Atkinson was fired and went 7-3 during the regular season (5-3 in the NBA’s seeding games) despite leading a very shorthanded roster that did not have Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince, Nic Claxton and Wilson Chander during the Disney World portion of the campaign.

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