Former Texas basketball superstar forward Kevin Durant will now be getting coached up by the 46-year-old former NBA star point guard Steve Nash in Brooklyn.
The long offseason for the Texas basketball program, after the 2019-20 campaign ended before their portion of the Big 12 Tournament began in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, was at least given a partial distraction by the resumption of the NBA season. There’s a good amount of teams featuring Texas Exes in the NBA that are left in the playoffs. But one that got eliminated that does feature two Texas Exes is the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets were ousted (as the seven-seed) in the first round of the playoffs in a sweep at the hands of the two-seed Toronto Raptors. But it didn’t have a whole lot to do with the play (or lack thereof) from former Longhorns Jarrett Allen and Kevin Durant. The former Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder superstar forward KD missed the entirety of the 2019-20 season recovering from an Achilles tear he sustained in last year’s playoff run.
KD should be able to lead the Nets, alongside star point guard Kyrie Irving, to a more prominent run in the Eastern Conference next season. Kyrie was also injured for much of the 2019-20 season, which didn’t help the Nets’ fortunes in the East.
But the Nets are doing their best to get KD and Kyrie in the best situation possible for the 2020-21 season. On Sep. 3, it was announced that the Nets would hire former Phoenix Suns star point guard Steve Nash to replace the departed Kenny Atkinson as their next head coach (reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski).
The two-time MVP award winner and Santa Clara hoops product Nash is one of the more surprising coaching moves of the year so far. It was originally pretty jolting that the Nets parted ways with Atkinson back in March. But the hire of Nash is definitely both a surprise and a notable splash in the coaching carousel.
Nash doesn’t have all that much coaching experience since ending his NBA career in 2015. He was on board as a consultant with the Warriors organization for the last few years. And he was involved in Canadian basketball on staff for a bit since his career ended.
The Nets are definitely trying to go for something similar to what the Warriors have with head coach, and former Chicago Bulls guard, Steve Kerr. Getting the team into the most proficient and modern era of basketball could be accomplished in a new way by bringing Nash aboard.
The 10-time NBA All-Star selection, one-time MVP, and four-time scoring champ, KD averaged 27.0 points per game, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, in his NBA career to date. He’ll now be coached by a former NBA star in Nash that averaged 14.3 points per game, 3.0 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in his more than 1,200 career regular season games played.