(CBSNewYork)- The Brooklyn Nets announced Thursday that former Phoenix Suns guard and Golden State Warriors player development consultant Steve Nash will take over as head coach of the franchise. Nash is the 23rd head coach in the franchise’s NBA history.
“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” said General Manager Sean Marks in a statement. “In Steve we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players. I have had the privilege to know Steve for many years. One of the great on-court leaders in our game, I have witnessed firsthand his basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritize team success. His instincts for the game, combined with an inherent ability to communicate with and unite players towards a common goal, will prepare us to compete at the highest levels of the league. We are excited to welcome Steve, Lilla, Lola, Bella, Matteo, Luca and Ruby to Brooklyn.”
The 46-year-old Nash has spent the last five seasons with the Golden State Warriors as a player development consultant. Prior to that, he enjoyed an 18-year NBA career in which he won back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and 2006 becoming just the 10th player in league history to do so. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
“We are excited to welcome Steve to the Nets family and look forward to a successful and meaningful partnership,” said Nets Governor Joe Tsai in a statement. “Steve shares our vision for the future of this franchise and his character exemplifies the core principles of our organization in working to serve our communities. I can’t wait for Steve to get started.”
This will be the first coaching job for Nash at the NBA level as he takes over a Nets team that was invited to the Orlando bubble but due to a variety of injuries, unable to make the playoffs.
“I am honored to have this opportunity with such a first-class organization and would like to thank Sean, Joe and his wife, Clara, for having faith in my ability to lead this team forward,” said Nash in a statement. “Coaching is something I knew I wanted to pursue when the time was right, and I am humbled to be able to work with the outstanding group of players and staff we have here in Brooklyn. I am as excited about the prospects of the team on the court as I am about moving to Brooklyn with my family and becoming impactful members of this community.”
As part of filling out Nash’s staff, the team retained assistant Jacque Vaughn to be the lead assistant coach.
“We are thrilled to retain Jacque as a leading member of our coaching staff,” continued Marks in his statement. “Jacque has been an integral part of our program and a key contributor to the growth and development of our entire organization. His role in developing our players both on and off the court and his influence driving our culture have been invaluable. Our players will benefit from the continuity of Jacque’s presence, and we are extremely fortunate to keep him in our Nets family.”