Kyrie Irving doesn’t see the Nets as having a head coach.
In a conversation with his teammate Kevin Durant on Durant’s podcast “The Etcs.,” Irving and Durant agreed that the Nets’ head coaching role will be a “collaborative effort” despite the hiring of Steve Nash as head coach in September.
“I don’t really see us having a head coach,” Irving said.” “KD could be a head coach, I could be a head coach [some days].”
Irving said that he and Nash, who had a 19-year Hall of Fame career as a player, have a great relationship and that what Nash does in Brooklyn is going to change the way the league views coaches.
“Steve is great, and I have a relationship with him that’s going to build over time, bro,” Irving said. “Steve don’t know me from anything he heard or he’s heard someone else. We’ve worked out one time in 2014, but it’s grown as just a respectful relationship from afar. I saw him at the Hall of Fame two years ago, gave him a big hug and now he’s the head coach. And I think it’s also going to change the way we see coaches.”
Irving also added that he wants a head coach who will “get to know him as a person” rather than someone who will place their own philosophy and “change everything we’re doing.”
“I want somebody that’s gonna understand that I am a human being first, I serve my community first, and then basketball is something I do every day because I love,” Irving said. “We always heard and saw how great Nash was as a player, but also when you get to know him as a person, you understand why he can coexist with us. We don’t need someone to come in with their coaching philosophy and change everything we’re doing.”
Durant, who has a relationship with Nash from their days together in Golden State, seemed excited for the “collaborating” between Irving and Nash.
“I think having Steve there and collaborating with our floor general every day is only gonna yield good results for our scorers like myself and Taurean [Prince], Caris [LaVert] and Spencer [Dinwiddie],” Durant said. “Them having that relationship I think is gonna be key for us going forward.”
Irving’s other noteworthy comment from the podcast was that he believed on all of his past teams, he was the best option for taking the clutch shots. Irving, who played with four-time MVP and three-time champion LeBron James in Cleveland for three seasons, said that Durant is the first player that he’s had on his team that’s as good as him in that regard.
“One thing I’ve always been comfortable with, I felt like I was the best option on every team I played for down the stretch,” Irving said. “This is the first time in my career I’ve looked down and be like, ‘That [expletive] can make that shot too.’ And he’ll probably do it a lot easier.
“It’s not so much deferring, because in past situations where I didn’t take the last shot I felt guilty. I want this game-winning shot, but also you want to trust your teammates. Not that I didn’t trust my teammates, but I felt like I was the best option.”
Irving may have a point there. He made the game-winning shot in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, which gave the Cavaliers their only title in franchise history.
Irving and Durant signed with the Nets prior to the 2019-20 season. Irving played just 20 games due to a shoulder injury while Durant missed the whole season to rehab his torn Achilles.
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