The Brooklyn Nets are locked into the NBA play-in tournament, and while that’s not how things were envisioned coming into the year, they will take it based on how things went for them.
There were talks of this being one of the best teams ever constructed coming into the year with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving leading the charge. That trio hardly played together and it eventually ended when Harden was shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons.
Simmons hasn’t played a game with the Nets as of yet, and there’s a possibility he won’t even be ready at all this year. While the Nets have the chance to make it far into the playoffs, there’s also a big chance they could fizzle out in the play-in tournament.
If that happened there would possibly be some changes made, and one of the options would be a new head coach. Nash has been coaching the Nets since 2020, and while the team has certainly had talent over the years, it hasn’t resulted in a championship.
Fans have floated an unlikely replacement for him in former Nets star Vince Carter. Carter, recently retired from the NBA, was known as a sort of “player-coach” during the twilight of his career, so it’d make sense if he wants to make the leap to the coaching ranks.
If the Nets are looking for a coach to roll the dice on, and they’re willing to take their chances on another first-time coach, then Carter could be a decent option.
Reddit user Parsnip-Independent makes the case for Carter and there are things that make sense.
“I remember long before he retired (possibly while with the Nets) he talked about hoping to one day be a coach,” wrote the user. “He has the unique perspective of being a star, but also a role player who still made himself valuable despite being old as dirt. And he’s been coached by lots of very smart guys–[Lawrence Frank], [Stan Van Gundy], Rick Carlisle, Nate McMillan, Lenny Wilkins, Butch Carter etc. In 22 years he’s played with them all, and learned a bit everywhere”
It also helps that Carter is a former star with the Nets, so he would have some fans of his own in Brooklyn. Since he was in the league for so long he has attachment with some of the current players, and that could be a big boost for him, similar to Nash.
The Case Against Him
One big issue is the Nets have a stacked roster, so they might be looking for a more experienced coach that can get them over the hump.
Young coaches have had their share of success in the league, notably Tyronn Lue winning a championship with the Cavs in 2016, but that doesn’t happen with every hire.
So far the Nets haven’t seen the type of success with Nash that they were hoping for, but that doesn’t mean they should just give up. Since Simmons hasn’t played, the team doesn’t even know what a full-strength roster would look like, so Brooklyn could give Nash the chance to see that through.
If he is let go, there will be many coaches willing to take his spot, and perhaps Carter could be one of them.