Tyronn Lue, Jacque Vaughn, and Mark Jackson were some of the names being rumored with the Brooklyn Nets head coaching job. One name that wasn’t was Steve Nash.
The Nets kept noise about their top candidate quiet, and Thursday it was announced that Nash will be the Nets’ next coach.
“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “In Steve we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players.”
Questions about Nash’s qualifications were immediately raised because of his lack of coaching experience. It has created a conversation about whether Nash deserved the job over Black coaches who have more experience.
For years, the 46-year-old Nash has been reluctant to become a head coach, but he’s well-respected among players. While as a consultant with the Warriors, he worked out with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Players even wanted Nash to be part of the team’s ring ceremony in 2017, and Durant called him “my Yoda” in his 2017 documentary, Through the Noise.
“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 in a statement.
On one hand, Nash receiving a four-year deal without any coaching experience doesn’t seem fair to minority coaches who have carved roles as assistants for years. On the other, Jason Kidd and Derek Fisher are two former point guards who got head coaching jobs with zero experience, and teams are doing their research now on Chauncey Billups, who also has no experience.
The Nets are also keeping Vaughn as their lead assistant. As the Nets’ interim coach, he proved himself to be a qualified candidate. Nash is mostly known for his offensive abilities, so Vaughn’s defensive mindset should be a perfect match.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announces positive COVID-19 test
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has mainly been in the news lately for partnering with Danny Garcia to purchase the XFL, but what people didn’t know was that he, his wife and two daughters — ages four and two — all tested positive for COVID-19 about three weeks ago.
“I can tell you that this has been one of the most challenging and difficult things we have ever had to endure as a family” Johnson said.
While the two kids had minor symptoms and dealt with a sore throat, Johnson and his wife, Lauran Hashian, both had a “rough go,” he said.
“My No. 1 priority is to always protect my family, protect my children, my loved ones,” Johnson said. “So this was a real kick in the gut.”
The family is healthy now, and everyone has recovered.
Fournette will have to earn a role with the Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette’s time as a free agent was short-lived after he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The match made sense due to the Bucs’ lack of success in the running game in recent years. But it also created a running back controversy.
Ronald Jones is the returning starter, and the Bucs also signed LeSean McCoy. Tampa hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2015, and Fournette has topped that mark in two of his three seasons. Still, head coach Bruce Arians said that the starting spot belongs to Jones.
“I got great reviews from people that know him and who have coached him. He’ll fit right in, and we’ll see what role happens and how fast it can happen,” Arians said Thursday about Fournette. “But RoJo’s our guy. Shady [McCoy] is ready for his role, so it’s just gonna be building roles as we go along and having enough quality players to finish this thing.”
Jones has averaged 3.9 yards per carry in his first two seasons. Fournette is not much higher at 4.0 yards per carry, but he didn’t play with multiple Pro Bowl wide receivers, an all-decade tight end, and a future hall of fame quarterback like he will in Tampa.
No matter who gets the nod at running back, he’ll be surrounded by a bevy of offensive weapons as the Buccaneers try to earn their first playoff berth since 2007.