Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the decision to separate was a mutual decision between the Nets and Nash.
“We want to thank Steve for everything he has given to our franchise over the past two seasons,” General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement on Tuesday. “Since becoming head coach, Steve has faced a number of unprecedented challenges, and we are sincerely grateful for his leadership, patience and humility throughout his tenure. Personally, this has been a very difficult decision; however, after much deliberation and evaluation of how the season has begun, we agreed that change was necessary. at this time “.
In a separate statement, Nash thanked Marks and the ownership team for “an amazing experience with so many challenges for which I am so grateful.”
Suspended Boston Celtics coach Aimee Udoka has emerged as the potential next Nets coach and his appointment could be finalized as soon as possible within the next 24 to 48 hours, sources told ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski. The Celtics will allow him to leave for another job.
Assistant coach Jack Vaughn will be the acting head coach for Tuesday’s home game against the Chicago Bulls.
The move comes after a disappointing 2-5 start to Brooklyn.
Nash was named head coach for the first time, by the Nets in 2020 to replace Kenny Atkinson a year after Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed the team.
While a team led by a former Hall of Fame player who had previously worked with Durant at Golden State seemed like a recipe for success, the Nets never reached the lofty goals set by the team under Nash.
Brooklyn made the playoffs in each of Nash’s two full seasons, but only won one series. Injuries and huge deals were constants during Nash’s tenure, as the team acquired James Harden in the 2020-21 season and replaced him last season in a move that brought in Ben Simmons. Simmons has not made his Nets debut until this season, while neither Durant nor Irving have played 60 games in a season since signing in Brooklyn due to injuries and, in Irving’s case, his decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
This past season, the Nets handled trade requests from both Irving and Durant. No viable business has emerged for Irving. At a meeting in August with owner Joe Tsai in London, sources confirmed to ESPN that Durant had asked Tsai to choose between him and the Nash and Marx Brain Foundation. While the two men were retained and Durant eventually backed out of his trade order, Nash’s time in Brooklyn was now over.
In Nash’s first season, the Nets with Harden ranked No. 2 in the Eastern Conference, but Harden and Irving injuries contributed to the team’s seven-game second-round exit at the hands of eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks.
Going into last season, the Nets were once again expected to be one of the best teams in the East, but Harden was sent to Philadelphia and Irving was limited to just 29 regular season games after choosing not to vaccinate. Boston swept Brooklyn in the first round.