Takeaways from Nets head coach Steve Nash, including what it's going to take to win a championship

·4 min read
Steve Nash during Nets intro presser
Steve Nash during Nets intro presser

YES Network held a town hall for new Nets head coach Steve Nash on Tuesday, and the former two-time MVP discussed a number of topics that set things in motion for the upcoming season.

Here are a few takeaways from the town hall:

On when he felt coaching was something he saw in his future

Nash retired from the NBA in 2015 after 18 years in the league. The eight-time All-Star then went on to become a consultant for the Golden State Warriors, winning two NBA championships from 2017-2018.

"I don't know if I could put a date on it, but certainly I think I always realized that I would like an enjoy coaching," Nash told YES Network's Ian Eagle. "I think it took me a while on a directive of trying to get away from the game and have some separation from being a player and having that be my identity and purpose for so many years. That transition needed to take place" 

"Then over the last few years I realized there was an itch forming and that I was starting to gain some interest in taking that leap at some point...that collided with this incredible opportunity at this moment in time here with this organization that's just continued to grow and build...it was an opportunity that was too good to pass up."

On the kind of system that he envisions running with this group

Nash played for numerous head coaches over his career, but none more notable than Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix from 2003-2008, where together they ran the "seven seconds or less offense" and saw Nash lead the league in assists for three straight years from 2005-2007.

Now, he's got Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at his disposal. 

"Well it's all still to be determined," Nash said. "I definitely don't want to come in with too many hard and fast concepts and designs, I'd much rather like to come in with principles, with ideas, and allow our players to collaborate with us — and to allow their personalities and the dynamic between them and the chemistry to have a role in how it evolves."

"People talk about the Phoenix teams I played on and this sort of revolutionary tone of how we impacted the game. But the truth be told, Mike D'Antoni's brilliance in much of that was he allowed it to evolve instead of getting in the way.

"I want us to play fast, I want us to space the floor to create opportunities to get downhill with our ball handlers and make plays for one another, and attack closeouts. So a lot of high-level philosophical thoughts."

On what it's going to take to win a championship

Despite technically winning two rings with the Warriors as a consultant, Nash never won a championship as a player — and never made it to the NBA finals either. Now with the Nets, he'd like to get over that hump.

"I will say that defense is our No. 1 priority," Nash said. "protecting the paint and guarding the basket is going to be the bedrock of our defense."

"We realize to win a championship we've got to be a very strong defensive team, great cohesion, clear understanding of our principles and be able to execute them with variation every night because every team we play is going to be different."

On his goal in Brooklyn

When Durant and Irving arrived last summer, the team went from playoff hopefuls each season to having serious championship aspirations in a snap. With that duo on the books for at least the next three seasons, the Nets have a shot at winning their first title since their ABA days.

"I'm here to help this group fulfill its potential," Nash said. "That's really my biggest goal by a long shot. I'm definitely not here to raise my profile, I'm not here to get credit for anything. I really want to work with these guys and put them in a position to be their best individually and collectively."