The NBA's first major bombshell of the offseason isn't even waiting until the offseason.
The Brooklyn Nets are hiring former NBA MVP point guard Steve Nash as their next head coach on a four-year contract, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
OFFICIAL: The Brooklyn Nets have named Steve Nash as the 23rd head coach in the franchise’s NBA history. pic.twitter.com/SG8OoN3a8g— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) September 3, 2020
Nash enters a fascinating scenario in Brooklyn, where Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are expected to return to a scrappy Nets club that overachieved its way to the playoffs without both stars this season.
Nash previously served as a part-time consultant for the Golden State Warriors and is close with Durant, but he'll also have to deal with Irving, who reportedly soured on previous Nets coach Kenny Atkinson.
So, how will Nash fare in Brooklyn? NBA Twitter was still reeling from the surprise news Thursday morning.
Steve Nash was not on the odds list to be the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets. https://t.co/YU4dJLZxUh— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) September 3, 2020
I had to check my notifications three times to make sure this was real. https://t.co/TdfRT1HmLL— Mike Prada (@MikePradaNBA) September 3, 2020
Not many things in the NBA would get me to say “holy sh**”— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) September 3, 2020
The Steve Nash hiring just did
Steve Nash coaching Kyrie and KD next year 🤯 pic.twitter.com/D047TcxfQ5— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 3, 2020
Others are skeptical that Nash will mesh with Irving, who spent two turbulent seasons with the Boston Celtics and now is on his seventh head coach in nine NBA seasons.
How long do we give Kyrie before he tunes out Steve Nash? Over/under is at 6 games— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) September 3, 2020
I like Steve Nash as much as anyone, but with Kyrie/KD there, it feels like some kind of self-punishment. https://t.co/ARWhorMSaX— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 3, 2020
Kyrie and Durant when Steve Nash tries to run a play for someone other than them pic.twitter.com/EXM4GTWbCO— munk (@munkiscooI) September 3, 2020
Very excited to see Steve Nash and KD walking around my neighborhood in Brooklyn. I'd be surprised if the three of us aren't best friends. Not sure if Kyrie invited to brunch.— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) September 3, 2020
So Kevin Durant hand-picked Steve Nash, who worked behind the scenes at Golden State, to run the Nets even though he has zero coaching experience. There’s pressure to win immediately & KD/Kyrie are two of the most high-maintenance players in the NBA.— Damon Amendolara (@DAonCBS) September 3, 2020
What could go wrong?
But ESPN's Marc Spears reports Nash has the "backing" of Irving, while the New York Daily News' Kristian Winfield points out that Nash has long admired Kyrie's game.
New Nets head coach Steve Nash has the "confidence" of Kevin Durant and the backing of Kyrie Irving after having a relationship with both for years. On KD, Nash told @TheUndefeated: "He’s one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen and to have his confidence is really important.”— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) September 3, 2020
In a 2012 interview with GQ, Kyrie Irving called Steve Nash the toughest matchup of his season because of the number of screens he had to fight through to defend him.— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) September 3, 2020
"He had 16 assists against us. That's ridiculous. It's tiring and I hated it." pic.twitter.com/4BOzdEH8Oy
We don't know what the future holds -- but we know the Nets will be must-see TV next season.