Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash has signed a four-year contract to become the next coach of the Brooklyn Nets, sources told ESPN.
The Nets announced the hiring Thursday morning.
In recent weeks, Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks have been aggressive in recruiting Nash to make the leap that he had so far resisted in his retirement as a transcendent player: head coaching.
Nash, 46, comes with no coaching experience, but he has a history of leadership, basketball IQ and playing innovation. He also brings a strong relationship with Nets star Kevin Durant, forged together in his consultant role with the Golden State Warriors.
The Nets are keeping Jacque Vaughn as the lead coach and making him the highest-paid assistant in the league, sources said. Vaughn made a strong impression on Tsai and Marks after taking over for Kenny Atkinson in February, including during the league’s restart in Orlando, Florida, and he likely would’ve been the Nets’ choice had Nash been unconvinced of taking the job, sources said.
As a consultant in the Warriors organization since, Nash built a strong relationship and understanding of Durant. He clearly was among the best ever to play Kyrie Irving’s point guard position. Marks was a teammate of Nash with the Suns, and he has kept a good relationship with him through the years.
In a statement released by the Nets, Nash said: “I am honored to have this opportunity with such a first-class organization and would like to thank Sean, Joe and his wife, Clara, for having faith in my ability to lead this team forward. Coaching is something I knew I wanted to pursue when the time was right, and I am humbled to be able to work with the outstanding group of players and staff we have here in Brooklyn. I am as excited about the prospects of the team on the court as I am about moving to Brooklyn with my family and becoming impactful members of this community.”
Nash has been pursued in several capacities since his retirement in 2015, including front-office and head-coaching opportunities, sources said.