Honeymoon’s Over: Former Warriors BFFs Durant & Nash Hit the Skids

Kevin Durant Steve Nash

Getty Kevin Durant and Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets look on during a game against the Miami Heat.

How did we get here? — It’s a question that’s undoubtedly on the minds of the Nets Nation denizens now that Kevin Durant has officially gone nuclear with his trade request. As reported by The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, an embattled KD met with Brooklyn owner Joe Tsai over the weekend, five weeks after he first asked out of the situation.

The result of their latest chat was decidedly not good for head coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks.

On the bright side, there seems to be a willingness on Durant’s part to remain with the club. Per Charania, though, he has some conditions for staying and playing nice. Essentially, he’s asking Tsai to make a choice: either Nash and Marks go or he goes. The differences are apparently irreconcilable; he’s divorcing the pair one way or the other.

It’s an incredible turn of events not only from a Nets standpoint but also when one considers that Durant and Nash were formerly BFFs with the Golden State Warriors.

Better Days

When Nash was hired by the Nets in 2020, there were myriad reasons to be critical of the move. Even as he was a two-time NBA MVP as a player who had quarterbacked the Suns’ revolutionary “seven seconds or less offense” en route to a Hall of Fame induction.

Nash had no head-coaching experience to speak of. His hiring ignited major questions about white privilege and the dearth of opportunity for people of color in the Association’s coaching ranks. And he was also taking on the thankless task of wrangling a pair of superstars with some serious baggage.

And yet, KD himself seemed to be down with the move — and observers thought that Nash may just be able to make it work as well — in part because the two had a preexisting relationship from their mutual time with the Dubs (and beforehand).

Back in 2015, Nash was lured back to the hardwood by Warriors coach Steve Kerr as a player development consultant. He would remain in the role through the team’s title runs in 2017 and ’18, during which he worked closely with Durant.

In turn, KD was happy to sing Nash’s praises, too.

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Nash Had Been a Hoops Confidante for KD

Tim Kawakami chronicled Durant and Nash’s relationship in a 2018 piece for The Mercury News, describing it as a “Hall of Fame friendship.” As recounted by Kawakami, Durant revealed that he so valued Nash’s opinion that he consulted with the former point guard before making his big move from OKC to the Bay Area.

“As I was making the decision to come here,” Durant told Kawakami, “I asked Nash for some advice.”

That ability to confide in him about things on and off the court was important to Durant, once upon a time.

“He’s someone I can talk to about anything and somebody I really respect. His basketball mind is probably the best I’ve been around,” Durant said. “He tries to simplify the game and keep me conscious of those things as well. It’s simplifying and keeping it as easy for yourself. I’ve learned so much.”

Fast-forward to now and, regardless of how Tsai decides to play the current situation, it’s probably a safe bet that Durant and Nash won’t be double-dating or exchanging holiday cards any time soon.


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