Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving don't think the Nets need a traditional head coach

Liz Roscher
·4 min read

Steve Nash might have his hands full coaching the Brooklyn Nets.

Nets star Kevin Durant launched his new podcast this week, “The ETCs,” and had his teammate Kyrie Irving on as a guest. They talked extensively about Nash, the new head coach for the Nets, but also talked about coaching in general. Would you be surprised to learn that they don’t think the Nets need a traditional head coach? Probably not!

That seems a little extreme, but only if you isolate that sequence and take it out of context. For them, it’s about who’s got the best insight on that day, or who’s working best with the rest of the team at a certain moment. It’s not that they don’t need a coach, it’s that they think a basketball team should be a collaboration.

Durant and Irving seem to be pretty self aware. They know that they’re both strong men with strong personalities, and they understand that it’s going to take a certain kind of person to coach them — but they also know that they need to let themselves be coached, because that’s the only way for the Nets to move forward as a team.

Irving and Durant may have said that the Nets don’t need a traditional head coach, but they also spent a lot of time talking about how much respect they have for Nash. They seem to like him a lot, and are looking forward to collaborating with him.

Collaboration appears to be the key word here. Irving and Durant want someone who is going to work with them instead of imposing their leadership and point of view on the team. That involves Nash knowing the players he’s coaching as full humans and understanding how they approach the game, and how that fits in with the rest of their lives.

It may not be smooth sailing for Nash and the Nets from the very beginning. Nash is a first time NBA coach and both Durant and Irving aren’t ones to let off the gas for even a moment. There will undoubtedly be growing pains. But as long as the Nets are willing to give it time to work, everyone else should too.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 08: Kevin Durant #7 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets share a laugh during the game against the Denver Nuggets at Barclays Center on December 08, 2019 in New York City. Brooklyn Nets defeated the Denver Nuggets 105-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both have strong opinions on coaching, but they're excited about Steve Nash coaching the Nets. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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