The Brooklyn Nets parted ways with head coach Steve Nash on Tuesday, following the star-laden team’s 2-5 start to the NBA season. The decision was mutual, according to the team.
“I wish the Nets all the success in the world and the Nash’s will be rooting for our team as they turn this season around,” Nash said in a message posted to his Twitter account Tuesday.
Nash, a Hall of Fame player who won two NBA MVP awards, has coached the Nets since 2020, leading them on two unsuccessful playoff runs.
Jacque Vaughn will take over as interim head coach, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Nets plan to hire suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka to take over the job full time, he added, citing sources. The Celtics suspended Udoka for the season for violating team policies that reportedly involved an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer. Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals earlier this year, ultimately losing to the Golden State Warriors.
Nets General Manager Sean Marks said it was “an immensely difficult decision” to part ways with Nash, but that, after evaluating the beginning of the season, the change was deemed necessary.
“We want to thank Steve for everything he brought to our franchise over the past two-plus seasons,” Marks said in a statement. “Since becoming head coach, Steve was faced with a number of unprecedented challenges, and we are sincerely grateful for his leadership, patience and humility throughout his tenure.”
The team has struggled both on the court and off, despite a roster of high-paid stars including Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. Durant reportedly pushed for Nash’s ouster in the offseason as rumors swirled that he may leave the team.
NBC Sports reported that both Durant and Irving were unhappy with the team leadership. Irving, who refused to get a Covid vaccination, wasn’t offered a long-term contract extension.
Irving drew criticism from Nets owner Joe Tsai over the weekend after he promoted an antisemitic film and book on social media Thursday.