Seven games have been enough to dig the grave of Steve Nash in the stormy Brooklyn Nets. It's only two weeks of competition, but in the NBA everything goes at a different speed. The initial defeats in a franchise destined to fight for the ring and that is currently second to last in the Eastern Conference were too heavy a burden even for a legend like the Canadian, questioned for his lack of experience and without the necessary support within the locker room.
Nash began to swim against the current last summer, when it was learned that Kevin Durant had asked for his head for the new course. It was the reflex action of the great star of the team after not being able to get transferred. However, the few options to leave the New York district because of his exorbitant salary - his 4-year, $198 million contract took effect this season - forced Durant to back down and accept his coach. Something had already broken in the Nets despite the unconditional support of owner Joseph Tsai.
Subjected to enormous pressure due to the urgency of the franchise to achieve results that would consolidate it as one of the most powerful in the North American league, the legendary point guard was always in the eye of the hurricane; in the first place because of his inexperience on the bench. He landed in 2020 at the hands of Nets general manager Sean Marks. His former teammate highlighted Nash's clairvoyance for the election, handing out assists and his intelligence on the track. He thought that those qualities could be conveyed on the board.
During this time, however, Nash has not been able to impose his idea on the Nets. In fact, he has been criticized precisely for this, for being unable to make it known, for the lack of proposals from him in the offensive aspect; always pulling his stars (Durant, Irving, before Harden) to solve games. The balance in 161 games on the bench is 94 wins and 67 losses, results that resulted in two eliminations in the first round of the playoffs and a conference semifinals.
Nash's nervousness became apparent as he racked up losses. Last week he lost his temper and was ejected for the third time in his NBA career - the first as a coach. In his last game at Indiana, he lashed out at the team, calling it "disastrous" defensively and "unwilling" to improve. A few words that were overshadowed by the controversy of Kyrie Irving being accused of "anti-Semite" for promoting a film through social networks.
And it is that the Nets have been in the news on many occasions since the outbreak of the pandemic due to their problems off the track that later led to consequences inside, with Irving as the main protagonist. The fabulous point guard missed much of the season by not wanting to get vaccinated against covid-19, which greatly affected the team's performance.
In the first game without Nash, the Nets showed no different image. The Chicago Bulls won 99-108 in the Big Apple, with 29 points from Zach LaVine and another bad game from the questionable Irving (4 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists). It is the fifth loss in the last six games.
Kevin Durant had 32 points, with nine rebounds and six assists, but only had twelve points in the second half. Unlike Irving (he wanted to continue feeding his latest mess), Durantula spoke after the game and confessed to having found out on television, after his nap, about the firing of his coach. "I was shocked, it's always like that when something like this happens, although it's normal in the NBA," he said.
Jacque Vaughn has taken the reins of the team as interim coach, as he did in 2020 when Kenny Atkinson was fired. In the next few hours it is expected that the chosen one for the bench will be Ime Udoka. The former coach of the Boston Celtics, whom he led to the NBA Finals last season, was suspended before the start of the season for violating franchise rules by having a romantic relationship with an employee.
MVP twice in his 18-year NBA career, Nash is the third-highest assistant in history (10,335). In recent years he had been in the news in Spanish football for becoming a shareholder of Mallorca. After four years, he left the Board of Directors in 2020, when he began his coaching career in the most popular basketball league in the world.