Steve Nash, Nets players joke about coach suiting up to help undermanned squad
The Brooklyn Nets were down to zero available point guards by halftime of Tuesday’s 127-97 thrashing of the Minnesota Timberwolves, an unfortunate set of circumstances that actually led to some whimsical commentary by the players and head coach Steve Nash.
With Kyrie Irving sitting out for personal reasons, James Harden unavailable due to a hamstring strain and a handful of other guards nursing injuries of their own, it was a dire situation for the Nets when Chris Chiozza suffered a right hand injury in the second quarter and left the game.
The complete vanquishing of the Nets’ point guard corps led Nash to jokingly ponder whether he could suit up at 47 years old to help the shorthanded squad. Unsurprisingly, the two-time NBA MVP, eight-time All-Star and five-time NBA season assists leader scoffed at such an absurdly ludicrous notion.
“I’d be great for four or five minutes and then the wheels would fly off all over the gym,” Nash joked postgame, per the New York Daily News. “So I think we’ll save the world that horror show.”
Several Nets players concurred with Nash’s blunt assessment of how he’d look should he strap on his sneakers and take to an NBA court at his age.
“I haven’t seen him play hardly at all,” said Joe Harris, who added Nash is not an active participant in Nets’ practices. “I know he plays tennis and pickleball, some of that stuff, but I haven’t seen him get up and down on the court, actually.”
Landry Shamet offered a different account. Shamet said Nash shot one jumper in practice the other day.
“He said, ‘Ah!’ (and) grabbed his back,” Shamet recounted.
“S—, I don’t know. If Steve gets out there, who knows how it would go?” Shamet continued. “But I’d have a stretcher ready.”
Nash has performed admirably in his first year running the bench for the Nets despite having virtually no coaching experience on his résumé. Heading into Wednesday’s critical game against the 76ers with control of the Eastern Conference on the line, Brooklyn is deadlocked with Philly with identical 37-17 records.
Sure, having an absolutely loaded roster featuring the likes of Kevin Durant, Irving and Harden — when all are healthy — certainly makes Nash’s job easier, but managing and massaging the egos of the team’s Big Three, among other things, has proven that first-year coach is more than capable of the job.
Suiting up again as a player-coach — which incidentally is no longer allowed by the NBA — though? That’s an entirely different story.