Steve Nash was the subject of criticism by many this summer when the Brooklyn Nets decided to name him their next head coach.
A two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Award winner and a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, some attributed it to white priviledge, others have critiqued that Nash had no formal NBA head coaching experience.
Pundits wonder how Nash will manage the personalities that are Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Some critics have simply asked: How the heck did Nash get the coaching job?
“Relationships,” retired NBA player, former Phoenix Suns head coach and ex-San Antonio Spurs Assistant coach Earl Watson told me on a recent episode of the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“Sean Marks and Steve Nash have always been close. So when people were in an uproar of Nash getting the job, it’s almost like, No. He’s very much capable and Sean did exactly what he was supposed to do. Hire within your network that’s capable. Like you know, we call it putting each other on but you can’t put someone on if they’re not capable.”
Favor isn’t fair.
An eight-time NBA All-Star, Nash was the Phoenix Suns’ 15th pick in the 1996 NBA draft out of Santa Clara.
Nash and Marks were actually Suns teammates during their playing careers.
Nash would later suit up for the Dallas Mavericks, have another stint with the Suns and ended his career as a member of the Lakers before retirement.
Nash’s connection with Durant was forged during Nash’s stint as a consultant for the Golden State Warriors.
Nash and Kyrie Irving connected during their playing days when Irving was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Nash played for the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.
Irving also participated in Nash’s kickball tournaments in New York City in years past.
Nash’s task with the Nets isn’t all fun and games. He’ll have help with familiar faces. Former Suns coach, Mike D’Antoni will join the assistant coaching staff.
So will former Phoenix teammate, Amare Stoudemire.
Jacque Vaughn and Royal Ivey will also be on Brooklyn’s bench as assistant coaches.
Nash possesses a talented roster looking to compete for an NBA Championship pretty soon. The bond that he has with Marks is important says Earl Watson.
“Because really the greatest teams that I’ve been a part of in winning and why it’s sustainable and not sustainable is the General Manager and the Coach had a personal friendship,” he said.
“They were like-minded and they were both mindful and they understand when you sit at the table and talk NBA all day and the season and free agency and winning, you’ve got to be able to have those tough conversations and have resolve if you don’t trust the person that sitting across the table from you on the same side. So I think Sean did exactly what he was supposed to do because when you set sail on that voyage of building something, we’re all on the same ship together. Either we’re all going to sink together or we’re going to ride together and sail and it’s exactly what I would’ve done.”
The NBA preseason begins later this week and the 2020-21 NBA season will begin on December 22.