‘Didn’t Buy In’ : Steve Nash Rips 2021 Nets Squad

James Harden

Getty Nets head coach Steve Nash directs James Harden on the sideline.

After being handily swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics, fans expected changes to come out of Brooklyn. The Nets had as good of a foundation as one could ask for in their superstar duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but the support that they had around them was lacking. Durant revealed during Nets media day that lack of support was one of the reasons he made his trade request at the top of the free agency period.

The Nets have a new complexion this season from the one they had in 2021. Brooklyn swapped James Harden for another All-Star in Ben Simmons. And role players such as Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Bruce Brown have also moved on from the franchise. New does not always equal better, but Nets head coach Steve Nash believes this year’s squad is the exception to that theory.

“We wanted to do a lot of that last year and for various reasons didn’t quite get the buy-in a lot of times. So, this year, we’ve got a group that seems bought in, that’s willing to work with different philosophies, different concepts offensively we’ve been putting in more offense,” Nash said of the Nets’ changes on offense via Matt Brooks of NetsDaily.

“But like I said earlier, the team usually tells you what stays and what doesn’t stay. But, we have to also be diligent, making sure we are willing to execute. Having said that, the pieces of our team, are set for a team that plays quickly and plays randomly a lot. So, we have to find the right balance, and that takes time. It takes commitment, buy-in, and so far, guys have been great.”

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Insider: Harden & Nash ‘Didn’t Get Along’

When Harden demanded a trade from the Nets last season, many perceived it was because Kyrie refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination that New York City mandated in order for Nets Players to play home games at Barclays Center. That coupled with an MCL sprain Durant suffered that had a recovery prognosis of 4-6 weeks, left Harden with a heavy load to carry. Especially, because he was still dealing with a lingering hamstring injury himself.

But NBA insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports says that Harden’s real reason for leaving was that he did not get along with Nash.

“Steve Nash and James Harden weren’t getting along. The two of them [Irving and Harden] are cool, I can tell you that on record. The issue was Steve Nash and James Harden,” Robinson said.

Scoop B also adds that Kevin Durant was upset by the ordeal because he felt it made him “look bad at his job”.

“The fact that Kevin Durant was pushing the Nets management to make that trade for James Harden last season. “That’s why they were on the outs because it made him look bad at his job,” Robinson added.

Paul Pierce: Harden Respects Rivers More Than Nash

Less than a month after Durant suffered his MCL sprain on January 15, Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons on February 10.

Now “The Beard” is in a new situation with a new co-star and a new head coach. And with Doc Rivers, a seasoned, veteran leader with championship experience, it is easy to see why Harden would be more willing to buy into his system, as opposed to the one Nash presented.

Hall of Famer Paul Pierce was on the lone team Rivers led to a title, the 2008 Celtics. Pierce says that the difference between Nash and Rivers is the respect that Harden has for the Sixers’ coach.

“He respects Doc. I don’t think he respects Steve Nash,” Pierce said to Gilbert Arenas during an episode of the “No Chill” podcast.

“And then his time in Houston just got old. When you play for a team so long and it just y’all don’t make it, it’s just like … But I just thought he gonna respect Doc and Doc is gonna do everything in his power to try to make them work.”

Gilbert Arenas & Paul Pierce Talk Sixers/Nets Trade, UCLA Pick Up Games & Kobe00:00 – intro 01:22 – NBA Hall of Fame & NBA Top 75 team 08:15 – How Paul Pierce Set Up Kevin Garnett To Ditch A Cab Fare 15:00 – Hardest Thing About AAU: The Parents 21:46 – Harry's AD 22:50 – CALM AD 24:10 – Playing at Crenshaw in the 9th grade 32:32 -…2022-03-14T18:00:12Z

With the Nets and Sixers both making major improvements this offseason, they could be headed toward a clash in the playoffs.

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