Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

From its poor begin to Kyrie Irving, the checklist of Brooklyn Nets issues is lengthy. The firing of Steve Nash and certain hiring of Ime Udoka solely provides to that checklist writes GREG JOYCE.

Seven video games into their season, to not point out in the midst of a back-to-back, the Nets lastly determined it was the proper time to eliminate Steve Nash.

And in case their checklist of issues wasn’t lengthy sufficient — Nash was definitely on there, however not essentially on the high — they’re anticipated so as to add to it by hiring Ime Udoka to exchange Nash. Udoka was suspended by the Celtics for the 2022-2023 season for having an improper relationship with a feminine subordinate on his employees, which included him utilizing crude language in his dialogue with the lady, in keeping with ESPN.

Nash’s departure, which the workforce introduced as a mutual settlement, got here amid a 2-5 begin that has been additional marred by Kyrie Irving’s promotion of an anti-Semitic film.

There are many tentacles to this shake-up, so right here’s a have a look at who comes out as winners and losers of all of it:


Kevin Durant: The Nets’ greatest star will get his want. Durant made waves in August when he demanded both a commerce or the firing of Nash and normal supervisor Sean Marks. Finally, neither occurred within the quick time period. As an alternative, Marks launched an announcement that mentioned he, Nash and proprietor Joe Tsai and his spouse Clara Wu Tsai met with Durant and his enterprise supervisor Wealthy Kleiman and “agreed to maneuver ahead with our partnership. We’re specializing in basketball, with one collective objective in thoughts: construct a long-lasting franchise to convey a championship to Brooklyn.”

Now Durant seems as if he’ll chase that objective with a well-known face in Udoka, who was a Nets assistant coach in 2020-21.

Steve Nash: Sure, the Corridor of Fame level guard is now out of a job, however he’s free from the mess he discovered himself in as a rule throughout his Nets tenure — largely by little fault of his personal. Nash definitely had some shortcomings as a first-time head coach, however he’s more likely to be absolved from heavy blame when this Nets period is revisited because of the complications he endured.

Employed in 2020, Nash all the time gave the impression to be having to handle off-court drama as a lot as he did on-court points — Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 to adjust to New York Metropolis mandates and thus to play at the beginning of final season earlier than the Nets softened their stance and allowed him to play in street video games; ill-advised trades for James Harden after which Ben Simmons; accidents to Durant and Irving; after which Irving’s newest sideshow, when he tweeted out a hyperlink to a movie that’s full of anti-Semitic views and doubled down on it just a few days later in a postgame press convention.

These are not issues for Nash, who took the excessive street and thanked the Nets in an announcement. Maybe he’ll now take the Kenny Atkinson route by latching on as an assistant for a profitable organisation.

Ime Udoka: Reportedly in line to take over in Brooklyn, Nash’s former Nets assistant coach will get out of a season-long suspension handed down by the Celtics and returns to the bench. He’ll have his plate full in making an attempt to show across the Nets’ defence and get his workforce to concentrate on basketball as an alternative of the off-court chaos — together with Udoka’s personal current historical past. He should show he deserved a second likelihood this quickly after the Celtics decided that what he had performed (the main points of that are nonetheless not public) deserved a year-long suspension.

Celtics: It appears notable that the Celtics are permitting Udoka to depart freely with out requesting any sort of compensation from the Nets, although the top coach of final season’s Finals workforce remains to be underneath contract regardless of the suspension. However now with Udoka anticipated to move to Brooklyn, the Celtics and interim coach Joe Mazzulla will not have him hanging over their head for all the season.


Nets: Three-plus years after the organisation landed Durant and Irving in free company, it has fired extra coaches than it has gained playoff rounds. The Nets stood behind Nash in August when Durant needed him gone, however modified their minds simply seven video games into the season. If Nash was on this wanting a leash, why not simply transfer on from him final low season and provides the subsequent head coach an opportunity to have a contemporary begin?

However worse than firing Nash lower than a month into the season is the anticipated transfer to rent Udoka to exchange him. An organisation that has preached the significance of tradition is bringing on a brand new head coach who was in the midst of a suspension for an improper office relationship. The Nets have been mentioned to be doing their due diligence on Tuesday to look into Udoka’s scenario, however for a workforce that was already within the midst of a large number with Irving’s scenario, they’re doubling down on placing profitable (or at the very least making an attempt to) over morality.

Sean Marks: When a normal supervisor fires his head coach, he normally loses his final line of defence. With Nash gone, Marks ought to step squarely onto the new seat. He has caught round by Atkinson’s and Nash’s tenures, however sooner or later he could need to reply for the workforce’s lack of success. Marks is the one who constructed the roster — together with the Harden and Simmons trades that proceed to look worse.

Nets followers: Fandom is aware of no bounds, however this needs to be a troublesome workforce to root for or take pleasure in watching on a nightly foundation contemplating all of the drama happening off the court docket. Gamers, coaches and front-office executives come and go, however the followers are sometimes those left having to endure the aftermath of the upheaval.

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