After a 2-5 start to the season following an offseason in which the Nets top stars had already pushed for him to be fired, Steve Nash’s tenure as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets has come to an end.
The Nets fired Steve Nash, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 1, 2022
Nets and Head Coach Steve Nash have agreed to part ways.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 1, 2022
Nash himself released a statement about the decision to part with the organization, which has been in turmoil for more than a year for a variety of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with him.
The Nets themselves seemed to recognize much of this was out of Nash’s hands as their official statement noted he face a number of “unprecedented challenges.”
“We want to thank Steve for everything he brought to our franchise over the past two-plus seasons,” said General Manager Sean Marks. “Since becoming head coach, Steve was faced with a number of unprecedented challenges, and we are sincerely grateful for his leadership, patience and humility throughout his tenure. Personally, this was an immensely difficult decision; however, after much deliberation and evaluation of how the season has begun, we agreed that a change is necessary at this time. We wish Steve, Lilla and their family all the best in the future.”
Among those off-court challenges were Kyrie Irving being a part-time player a year ago because of his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine despite the New York City mandate, both Kevin Durant and Irving attempting to get traded this season and KD reportedly issuing an ultimatum that Nash (and GM Sean Marks) be fired, those two coming back after failing in their trade requests, and most recently Kyrie posting a link to an anti-semitic movie on Twitter and then doubling down in defiance in a disastrous press conference.
On the court, Nash went 94-67 in just over two seasons at the helm in Brooklyn, with a 7-9 postseason record most notably including a sweep at the hands of the Celtics in the first round a year ago. Nash’s on-court tactics left plenty to be desired, but it was never abundantly clear if that was a Nash problem or simply him giving way to what his stars want to do. In the end, the thing that brought Nash to Brooklyn was the thing that got him fired.
Nash was brought in to be the manager of egos on a team full of stars, but never seemed to thrive in that role despite Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving being the driving forces in bringing him in for Kenny Atkinson. His tenure seemed doomed from the start, with Kyrie rather famously declaring initially that there was no head coach but that everyone brought ideas to the table. That proved to be prescient, as the Nets never formed a cohesive identity under Nash beyond “Kyrie and KD do stuff” and he is now relieved of his duties — and probably relieved to be done with the nightmare that is this Nets team.