Nash says new Nets of Irving and Durant ready to roll, and run

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash intends to run his team much like he played.

“We want to play an uptempo style. We want to push the ball in transition and play in the open court, and in the half-court we want to make quick decisions, space the floor, take advantage of our playmaking and shooting,” Nash said in a call with reporters. “We have some centers that are vertical threats, so we can really put pressure on people above the rim, but also stretch them and make the court big and difficult to cover.”

Sounds kind of like how the Phoenix Suns played when Nash was the point guard, Mike D’Antoni was coach and the ball was expected to be lofted toward the hoop in “Seven Seconds or Less.” Fittingly, D’Antoni is now a lead assistant coach with Nash and the Nets.

“I definitely think there’ll be similarities. But I also think clearly the way we played in Phoenix is very common in today’s game,” Nash said. “You look around the league, a lot of teams look in some ways similar to that. We will have some similarities, but you also have to consider and blend with the personnel you have. So some of that is strategic, some of that is organic. We’re going to let it grow.”

Nash is entering his first season as a head coach — anywhere. He will have  point guard Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the lineup at the same time, which is also an NBA first.

Having D’Antoni around sure can’t hurt. He’s an old pro at this. D’Antoni is coming off four seasons as the main man with the Houston Rockets.

“He’s already everyone’s favorite in the office,” Nash said. “He’s definitely brought his typical personality and charm and sense of humor. For someone who’s been a head coach for so long and had so much success, he’s incredibly humble.”

Nash continued.

“He’s given me a tremendous amount of comfort, somebody you have a relationship with who can help guide — call or text or knock on his door — to gain his thoughts,” Nash said. “Mike’s been in the position where he’s done this so long and has such a unique perspective and skill set. He’s been incredible for me, but also been great every day here in the building, and people have gravitated to him quickly.”

Nash realizes expectations for the Nets will be sky high in his first season, and he seems fine with it.

“I’m in a fortunate position where I get to coach Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving,” he said. “What we built here in a short period of time, how we’re going to practice and play is exciting.

“I’m thrilled that I get to coach those guys. If one statement that I don’t necessarily think was meant the way it was taken by the press, that doesn’t bother me at all. I enjoy working with those guys.”

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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