Steve Nash is gone. Brooklyn Nets problems are not.

On Tuesday, when a decision is made”Partial methodsWith their coach under siege, the Nets simply looked at the three-ring circus that often doubles for the NBA and opted to fire the easiest guy out.

There’s no easy way to tell if Steve Nash, a beloved Hall of Fame player who had no coaching experience prior to his appointment in 2020, qualifies to be a good coach. His tenure hid his superiority or shortcomings—everything about him and that team behind the natural eclipses one can see when you’re surrounded by massive stars has faded.

But Nash’s tenure was also surrounded by a high level of dysfunction, ego, and ugliness. All of these combined to make it extremely difficult to evaluate Nash’s coach. It’s like coaching LeBron James: There will be less credit (ask Frank Vogel or Eric Spoelstra) or more blame (ask Frank Vogel) when coaching a player of this size, and in the end, fair or not, the ax falls to you first.

The only certainty about Nash’s tenure in Brooklyn is that it is doomed. What happened on Tuesday was not the result of his training. It was the result of General Manager Sean Marks’ decisions several years ago to cede a young, up-and-coming, high-culture, starless band to the failed Nets experiment.

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden are very talented players, and Ben Simmons is – or was – the same. But the Durant-Irving-Harden trident, which was replaced at least last year on paper by the Durant-Irving-Simmons version, has always been more troublesome and fragile than its strength on paper.

Irving’s long list of deadly chemistry antics Hitting an ugly low that changed basketball this week, but it has always been brutally difficult to train successfully—or, perhaps, brutally unlikely to succeed. Other than hitting that shot in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the juice was never worth it. The Celtics learned it the hard way. Now, we have the Brooklyn Nets, from the no-shows at work, flat earth, the COVID-19 vaccine saga, the confirmation that the Nets didn’t have a head coach even before Nash started, the shots at LeBron, and so on.

And this is just a small list of Irving Luggage.

Durant is a very talented player, all the time, but like Irving, he was concerned about the part of sharing the spotlight on an NBA championship team and found life away from her not as easy as he had anticipated. His own baggage, despite his basketball greatness, came to a head in the off-season when he asked to be traded — unless Nets owner Joe Tsai fired Nash and Marks.

To make such a request, shortly after signing a new long-term deal, requires a special kind of volatility. Steve Curry never came close to such a move. Nor LeBron James. Driving is often difficult.

Tassi waited until Tuesday to fulfill Durant’s first requirements, but the poison was long in the bloodstream at that point.

Once a star requests your job, that job is in jeopardy, and the potential for team conflict and toxicity is high. This 2-5 start wasn’t the reason for Nash being fired. It was an extension of the broken culture and the baggage-laden stars who shaped it.

Harden knew. He made his way out of last year’s trash fire shortly after making the same mistake as Nash, when he looked at KD and Kyrie and saw talent rather than problems that would define life with the Nets.

And then there’s Simmons, the walking puncher, the player who’s so dwarfed from his otherwise excellent if imperfect form, could be an avatar for this Nets organization.

They are in a mess. They have no real leadership. Their louder voice promotes anti-Semitic rubbish, seems unable to accept the words “I was wrong” and is a great basketball player whose returns on investment always come back – without LeBron James as a teammate – in red.

Their most important vote may be the shoe size of one of the NBA Finals, but it also treads so hard on Nash, Marks and anyone who dares question him that trivialities often overshadow his amazing game and his thoughtful and intriguing worldview. This is clearly a dynamic team made in their own image.

Nash could be a great coach. It might be terrible. It might be somewhere in between. But Tuesday’s news isn’t a judgment on any of that.

Steve Nash’s exit from Brooklyn simply underscores what should have been obvious all along. This franchise is a mess, and this begins – or ends – with its disappointing, disappointing, superstars.

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