Even as the Brooklyn Nets face the barrel of 0-3 hole heading into Monday’s Game 4 against the Boston Celtics, it appears Steve Nash’s job is safe as the man in charge.
NBA insider Marc Stein reported that Nash was unlikely to face the chopping block if the Nets were swept out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, despite the massive expectation that was on the team since the start of the year. Nash is in his second season as the Nets’ head coach.
“One source close to the situation told me over the weekend that he thinks Nash is likely to avoid being rendered management’s fall guy for the Nets’ meek playoff showing, noting how much madness (and, frankly, absurdity) that the former Hall of Fame point guard faced during his second season as a head coach,” Stein wrote in his newsletter.
Nash has faced his fair share of criticism in the last week as the Nets have looked unable to adjust to the dominating defense of the Celtics through the first three games of the series. The Brooklyn coach’s rotation decisions have come into question during different points of the season and again during the playoffs as well.
The former eight-time NBA All-Star has had a dysfunctional two seasons at the helm of the Nets, dealing with everything from COVID-19 and injuries to disgruntled stars and blockbuster trades. Nash also had to coach a team without one of its best players, Kyrie Irving, for a third of the year and who then wasn’t fully available until March.
“There is no evidence in circulation — yet — to suggest that Nash is in some sort of jeopardy … as long as he retains the support of (Joe) Tsai and (more importantly) (Kevin) Durant,” Stein added later.
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Nash was a surprise choice to get the keys to the kingdom when Brooklyn hired him as its head coach in September 2020. Nash had no coaching experience at the time and was chosen in part because he had the backing of Kevin Durant.
After two years on the job, Nash has coached the Nets 92-62 record during the regular season and 7-8 record in the playoffs entering Game 4 on Monday night. Brooklyn was eliminated from the Eastern Conference Semifinals in seven games by the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Nets have entered both seasons under Nash boasting highly touted rosters that featured Durant, Irving and James Harden. Brooklyn traded the third member of its Big 3 in February for Ben Simmons.