The Brooklyn Nets have hired Hall of Famer Steve Nash as head coach on a four-year deal.
Nash takes over from Jacque Vaughn who has been the interim head coach since March 7 when the team decided to part ways with Kenny Atkinson. Vaughn will remain with the team as the lead assistant coach.
“I am honoured to have this opportunity with such a first-class organization and would like to thank Sean, Joe and his wife, Clara, for having faith in my ability to lead this team forward,” said Nash in a statement.
“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.”
Nash has spent the past five seasons as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors, where he built a strong relationship with Nets star Kevin Durant.
During an 18-year career in the NBA, the 46-year-old won back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and 2006, becoming the 10th player in league history to win the award in consecutive seasons. He was teammates with Marks during his time with the Phoenix Suns.
The Victoria, B.C., native was as named to All-NBA teams seven times throughout his career and ranks third all-time in career assists with 10,335. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” said general manager Sean Marks.
“In Steve we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players. I have had the privilege to know Steve for many years. One of the great on-court leaders in our game, I have witnessed firsthand his basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritize team success. His instincts for the game, combined with an inherent ability to communicate with and unite players towards a common goal, will prepare us to compete at the highest levels of the league. We are excited to welcome Steve, Lilla, Lola, Bella, Matteo, Luca and Ruby to Brooklyn.”
Despite missing Kyrie Irving for all but 20 games and Durant for the entire season, the Nets qualified for the post-season after Vaughn led the team to a 5-3 record in the NBA’s restart in Florida. Brooklyn was then swept in the first round by the Toronto Raptors.