Kevin Durant asked for Steve Nash to be fired, but now says he’s shocked that he actually was?
Undoubtedly, there are things the Nets need to fix and perhaps a coaching change is the first step, but given what’s led to this moment, their star’s admission is at the least, curious.
Is it tongue in cheek or is he being sincere? Either way you cut it; the Nets star disclosed that he didn’t see his former coach’s dismissal coming.
Kevin Durant says he was shocked by Steve Nash’s firing
We forgive you if you if you need a moment to process, but according to reports, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant said he was “shocked” when he learned of former head coach Steve Nash’s departure, before adding that he only became aware of the scenario after turning on the TV before Tuesday’s game. You will of course recall that Nash and the Nets mutually agreed to separate, following a less than ideal start to their campaign.
“You’re always shocked when a move like this happens,” Durant said after the Nets’ loss to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday - they are now 2-6. “But it’s normal in the NBA. So, it’s about getting ready for the game tonight. It’s a quick turnaround always in the league, especially during the season. You got practice, games coming up, so you can’t think too much about it. But it was on the mind for a little bit today.” Durant went on to add that he believed many factors contributed to Nash’s exit. “We didn’t have a healthy team. Just didn’t pay well. And that’s what happens in the league. Shit happens. So that doesn’t take away from Steve’s basketball IQ, how he teaches the game. I don’t think that takes away from anything. It just didn’t work out.”
Was Steve Nash’s firing really a “shock?”
Though we can sympathize with Kevin Durant’s apparent surprise - he stated he had just awoken from a pre-game nap at the time - the reality is, the writing was most definitely on the wall. Aside from the obvious on court issues, Nash described their loss to the Pacers earlier in the week as a “disaster, the franchise has been a trainwreck off of the court. To that end, it was no surprise when GM Sean Marks disclosed that he and Nash had been discussing the coach’s future. To that end, Durant did in fact acknowledge that things weren’t good. “Let’s be real. We’re pros. We’re veterans. We had a tough start. It was a rocky year last year, rocky summer. We knew that everybody was being evaluated. That’s just how it is in the league.”
Did Kevin Durant finally cause Steve Nash’s dismissal?
Here’s the thing, there is no way to convey any of the above information without considering the fact that Kevin Durant very directly issued a ‘him or me’ ultimatum to the franchise during the summer. Fans will recall, that after his infamous trade request, the former MVP told the front office that he would only continue if Steve Nash and Marks didn’t. In the end, things appeared to have been smoothed over and we we’re treated to a slightly awkward public statement, which claimed all parties involved had moved forward. Between then and now, the Nets simply haven’t performed and here we are.
Fittingly, it was Marks himself who addressed the decision on Tuesday, explaining that Nash actually told him “They’re not responding to me right now,” when referring to the team. We can of course speculate about the myriad of reasons as to why that is and for his part, Marks made it clear that “there was zero input from any of the players on this.” With that said, the fact that Durant actually called for his coach to be fired, really doesn’t help with the optics of it all.