When Hall of Famer Steve Nash was hired to be the Brooklyn Nets’ next head coach, it was a head-scratcher for many. Nash’s resume as a player was undeniable but the 47-year-old had no coaching experience at all.
So far, Nash has proved all of the doubters wrong.
It has been a season of ups and downs and constant roster changes for the Nets, but Nash has handled it well considering the media circus that has surrounded this team all season.
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Harden Presents Nash With Coach of the Month Award
The month of February may have been the most impressive stretch of the season for the Nets especially because they continued to win after losing Most Valuable Player candidate Kevin Durant on February 13.
To commemorate the Nets impressive month, Nash was awarded the Coach of the Month award and had it presented to him by his star point guard James Harden.
Steve Nash presents James Harden with the NBA Player of the Month award. pic.twitter.com/mSFrYKdy0o
— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) March 16, 2021
Officially crowning our February Eastern Conference Player and Coach of the Month! 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/v4ndXJPovP
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 16, 2021
The Nets went 9-4 in the month of February and had impressive wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors and two wins over the Los Angeles Clippers.
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The Nash Era in Brooklyn Had Rocky Start
It was not always peaches and cream between Nash and the Nets. Upon Nash’s hiring this summer Nets’ guard Kyrie Irving famously said that he did not feel as if Brooklyn had a head coach.
“I think it’s also going to change the way we see coaches. I don’t really see us having a head coach,” Irving said on The ETCs via Nets Wire.
“You know what I mean? KD could be a head coach. I could be a head coach,” Irving continued.
Kyrie’s comments caused a media whirlwind which made the 28-year-old walk back his comments about Nash’s position.
“I think I’ve got to take back my comments in terms of the head coach back a few months ago,” Irving said via Nets Wire.
“But it’s just like, man, we have such a great synergy. Everyone feels like we’re coaching one another to be better, so I’m grateful for that.”
Harden & The Nets Have Bought in To Nash’s System
The Nets now have a record of 27-13 and are second place in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn has fully bought in to Nash’s system and the team is starting to click as they prepare for a run at the NBA title.
Coincidentally, Harden won NBA Player of the Month for February as he has proven himself to be the catalyst of the Nets’ offense. Harden leads the league in assists at 11.2 per game.
‘The Beard’ who has made a career off being a volume scorer, has willingly accepted a new role in Brooklyn as a pass-first player. This is the first time in three seasons that he is averaging less than 30 points per game.
Nash has previously praised Harden for the sacrifices that he has made for the Nets.
“I know we see his scoring and playmaking ability, but his intelligence is special, defensively as well,” Nash said to reporters via Michael A. Scotto.
Steve Nash on James Harden: “I know we see his scoring and playmaking ability, but his intelligence is special. Defensively as well… He’s in a position where he’s grateful for this opportunity. He wants to win, and he’s willing to sacrifice. His leadership has been great.” pic.twitter.com/6EImrlEKoA
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 2, 2021
“He’s in a position where he’s grateful for this opportunity. He wants to win, and he’s willing to sacrifice. His leadership has been great.”
So far, Harden and Nash, much like Nash and Mike D’Antoni have been a match made in heaven.