Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant spoke at length on The ETCs podcast with Kevin Durant about outgoing head coach Kenny Atkinson, incoming head coach Steve Nash, and the new dynamics that now exist between players and coaches
"First off, I want to give a shout out to Kenny Atkinson," Irving said. "Some people came out and was like 'Yo, Ky and KD got Kenny fired.' Look, that was completely false. Kenny was great for the group that he served and I was very appreciative of what he was giving us throughout the season when we were playing."
When Durant asked Irving his thoughts on the hire of Nash, he went into detail about all the things that make Nash a fit -- including being able to coexist with his players.
"We always heard how great Nash was or saw how great Nash was as a player, but also when you get to know him as a person, you understand why he can coexist with us," Irving explained. "Because we don't need somebody to come in and put their coaching philosophy on everything that we're doing and change up the wheel. ... I need somebody that's gonna understand that I am a human being first, I serve my community and where I come from first.
"And then basketball is something I come and do every single day because I love. And also I have the right ingredients of people around me to come in and do my job at a high level and I know that they will hold me accountable to that level. It's no disrespect to Kenny or any other coaches I played with. It's just Steve coming in at this moment and then following up with putting together a great coaching core was gonna make us more successful."
Irving added that his relationship with Nash will continue to grow after being "a respectful relationship from afar."
"It's also gonna change the way we see head coaches," Irvin added. "I don't really see us having a coach, you know what I mean? KD could be a head coach, I could be a head coach."
It was that point that Durant interjected.
"Jacque Vaughn can do it one day. It's a collaborative effort I think on our part," Durant said. "Me and Ky talked about being coached every single day. That's leading by example. A lot of our teammates are gonna follow suit once they see that we're getting coached and we're learning and continuing to ask questions about the game. I think having Steve there and collaborating with our floor general every day, it's only gonna lead to good results."