NBA

Steve Nash's reign as Nets head coach is over

By Sports Desk November 01, 2022

The Brooklyn Nets have parted company with head coach Steve Nash.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Nets and Nash came to a mutual decision to part ways after a disappointing start to the 2022-23 season.

The Nets have won just two of their opening seven games, though they did beat the Indiana Pacers 116-109 on Monday.

Jacque Vaughn will be the Nets' acting head coach for Tuesday's game with the Chicago Bulls.

"We want to thank Steve for everything he brought to our franchise over the past two-plus seasons," said general manager Sean Marks.

"Since becoming head coach, Steve was faced with a number of unprecedented challenges, and we are sincerely grateful for his leadership, patience and humility throughout his tenure.

"Personally, this was an immensely difficult decision; however, after much deliberation and evaluation of how the season has begun, we agreed that a change is necessary at this time. We wish Steve, Lilla and their family all the best in the future."

A two-time MVP as a player and former consultant for the Golden State Warriors during two of their championship-winning seasons in 2017 and 2018, Nash took charge of the Nets in 2020.

He led them to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2020-21, losing a seven-game series to eventual champions the Milwaukee Bucks.

A tumultuous 2021-22 campaign that saw James Harden traded to the Philadelphia 76ers ended with the Nets losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Boston Celtics in a sweep.

Despite having the chance to coach stars including Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during his Nets tenure, Nash has had to navigate much controversy, predominantly surrounding Irving.

Irving's refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and his inability to play in cities with vaccine mandates, including New York, complicated Nash's second season in charge.

This season, Irving has attracted significant criticism and was condemned by Nets owner Joe Tsai for his promotion of a documentary film said to be "full of anti-Semitic disinformation".

Nash had said he hoped the Nets could "grow through this together", but they will now tackle this latest saga surrounding their star guard without him.

He leaves the Nets with a 94-67 regular-season record.

"Thank you, Brooklyn," Nash said in a statement on Twitter.

"A very heartfelt thanks to Joe and Clara Tsai along with Sean Marks for giving me the opportunity to coach the Brooklyn Nets. It was an amazing experience with many challenges that I'm incredibly grateful for.

"It was a pleasure to work with the players, performance team and front office everyday. I'm especially grateful to my coaching staff and video room who are a talented group with so much character and professionalism.

"Lastly, thanks to Brooklyn and the passionate fans who support this team. Family first and my family has found a home here and LOVES being a part of this beautiful community.

"I wish the Nets all the success in the world and the Nash's will be rooting for our team as they turn this season around."

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