Following a tumultuous offseason in the organization, the Brooklyn Nets and head coach Steve Nash “have agreed to part ways” seven games into their 2022-23 NBA campaign, the team announced on Tuesday.
The Nets have underperformed since hiring Nash as a first-time coach in 2020, even if the Hall of Fame point guard does not bear full responsibility for the drama surrounding his team over the last three seasons. Armed with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and fluctuating third stars, the 48-year-old Nash won nearly 60% of his regular-season games but registered a 7-9 playoff record, including a sweeping first-round loss in April.
Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant reportedly issued an ultimatum to team owner Joe Tsai in August: Either grant his trade request or fire both Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Three weeks later, they all met in Los Angeles and issued this cease fire of a statement: “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership.”
Durant danced around his ultimatum on media day in September, suggesting he had come to terms with some of his issues with the organization, including the team’s lack of fight in his injury absence last season.
“You see what happened with our season, guys in and out of the lineup, injuries, just a lot of uncertainty, which built some doubt in my mind about the next four years in my career,” he said at the start of training camp. “I’m getting older, and I want to be in a place that’s stable and trying to build a championship culture, so I had some doubts about that. I voiced them to Joe, and we moved forward from there.”
Nash also brushed off media day questions about any lingering animus from Durant’s reported ultimatum, saying, “Ever since we’ve talked, it’s been like nothing’s changed,” and downplaying coverage of their feud.
“A lot of things that are reported are not 100% accurate,” Nash said in late September, when he first addressed the alleged feud. “A lot of things that are reported are not 100% accurate. You got fragmented bits of truth. You got things that are flat-out not true. It happens. It’s the nature of the media nowadays.”
Nash’s statement on Tuesday was equally bland and full of appreciation for everyone in the organization.
Assistant coach Jacque Vaughn will serve as Nash’s replacement in the interim.
Check back soon for more details.