The Nets surprised many on Thursday morning by naming Hall of Famer Steve Nash as the team's next head coach. The contract is a four-year deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Nash retired in 2014 and has no NBA head coaching experience but has served as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors for the past five years. Nets star Kevin Durant has a relationship with Durant from his time at Golden State. In recent years, Nash has also assisted the Canadian national basketball team in an advisory role.
Owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks made an aggressive push to convince Nash to try coaching, Wojnarowski reported.
"Coaching is something I knew I wanted to pursue when the time was right, and I am humbled to be able to work with the outstanding group of players and staff we have here in Brooklyn," Nash said. "I am as excited about the prospects of the team on the court as I am about moving to Brooklyn with my family and becoming impactful members of this community."
Jacque Vaughn, who served as the interim head coach and led the Nets to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, will remain on staff as Nash's lead assistant, according to Wojnarowski. Vaughn filled in for Kenny Atkinson, who mutually agreed to part ways with the team in March.
"After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make," Marks said in a statement. "In Steve, we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players. I have had the privilege to know Steve for many years. One of the great on-court leaders in our game, I have witnessed firsthand his basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritizing team success. His instincts for the game, combined with an inherent ability to communicate with and unite players toward a common goal, will prepare us to compete at the highest levels of the league."
As a player, Nash was an eight-time All-Star and won back-to-back MVP awards with the Suns in 2005 and 2006.