Warriors consultant Steve Nash will be the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, the team announced Thursday.
Nash, a part-time consultant with Golden State since 2015, has never coached at any level other than the occasional on-court instruction he provided for the Warriors. His contract with the Nets is for four years, with specific terms yet to be announced.
Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks, a former Cal player who played with Nash in Phoenix (2006-08), convinced Nash — a Santa Clara alum — to take on a full-time coaching role. Previously, Nash had turned down coaching offers to maintain a flexible schedule and spend time with his family.
“I am honored to have this opportunity with such a first-class organization and would like to thank Sean, (owner) Joe (Tsai) and his wife, Clara, for having faith in my ability to lead this team forward,” Nash said in a statement released by the Nets. “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.
“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.”
During his five years with the Warriors, Nash, 46, stopped by practices, shootarounds or games about once a month. His relationship with Kevin Durant — who after three seasons with Golden State, left for Brooklyn last summer — has been well chronicled.
Nash’s presence on Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s staff was part of the reason Durant decided to sign with the franchise in 2016. A basketball junkie, Durant appreciated learning from someone who won two NBA MVP awards.
“He’s someone I can talk to about anything and somebody I really respect,” Durant told reporters in March 2018. “His basketball mind is probably the best I’ve been around.
“He tries to simplify the game and keep me conscious of those things as well. It’s simplifying and keeping it as easy for yourself. I’ve learned so much.”
Durant’s relationship with Nash should ease the coach’s transition in Brooklyn. Nash’s predecessor, Kenny Atkinson, parted ways with the team in March after Durant reportedly voiced concerns about the habits and culture the franchise was building.
Nash’s departure marks the third time someone on Kerr’s staff has left for an NBA head coaching job. Alvin Gentry took the Pelicans job in 2015, and Luke Walton took the Lakers job a year later.