Steve Nash opens up about opportunity to coach Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving
The Brooklyn Nets’ decision to hire Steve Nash came as a huge surprise considering the Hall of Famer has no coaching experience, even as an assistant. Despite some questions about his hiring, however, Nash cannot wait to get to work.
Nash conducted an interview Wednesday with YES Network, and the two-time NBA MVP unsurprisingly indicated how excited he is over the opportunity to coach such talents as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Steve Nash on his relationship with Kevin Durant: "It's a privilege to work with one of the greatest players to ever play the game." pic.twitter.com/DArYWwKiRx— YES Network (@YESNetwork) September 9, 2020
Steve Nash: "Kyrie [Irving] is one of my favorite players of all time." pic.twitter.com/txudxGrqLR— YES Network (@YESNetwork) September 9, 2020
Along with bringing in Nash, the Nets will welcome back both Durant and Irving for the 2020-21 season. In their first year with the team, Durant missed the entire campaign after suffering an Achilles injury during the 2019 NBA Finals and Irving appeared in only 20 games for the Nets in an injury-plagued season.
The presence of the two superstars surely will help Nash ease into his new job. The same can be said about the fact that Jacque Vaughn, who served as the Nets’ interim head coach after Kenny Atkinson’s firing in March, has agreed to remain on the coaching staff as an assistant.
All that being said, the hiring of Nash has subjected the Nets to some scrutiny, including one particularly inflammatory bit of speculation from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Last week, Smith argued that Nash’s hiring was nothing more than another example of “white privilege.” Smith refused to back down from his stance, but the likes of Charles Barkley and several others strongly pushed back at the suggestion.
When asked Wednesday about Smith’s characterization of how he landed the Nets job, Nash admitted he has benefitted from white privilege but wasn’t sure how it may have affected his hiring.
“I have benefited from white privilege. Our society has a lot of ground to make up,” Nash said. “… I’m not sure this is an example that purely fits that conversation.”