Nash divulged that he and Durant first became friends eight years ago when he was still playing point guard in the NBA:
The newly minted coach called Irving one of his "favorite players of all time," and noted that they also became acquainted when he was still playing:
Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season due to injury and Irving played in just 20 games, but if they are both healthy, the Nets should be a major threat in the Eastern Conference in 2020-21.
The 46-year-old Nash played in the NBA from 1996-2014. During that time he was an eight-time All-Star and two-time MVP, resulting in him getting inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Nash's playing career crossed over with those of Durant and Irving by a few years, so he has the unique perspective of knowing what they can do both as an opponent and an outside observer.
Nash was also a consultant for the Golden State Warriors when Durant led them to a pair of NBA championships and won NBA Finals MVP awards in both 2017 and 2018.
Referring to Durant as "one of the greatest players to ever play the game," Nash also called KD "coachable and inquisitive."
Nash also called Irving an "incredible person," which suggests that he has a great deal of respect for both Durant and Kyrie on a level deeper than basketball.
From a basketball perspective, Durant and Irving have both won NBA titles and been named All-Stars on many occasions. When healthy, Durant is arguably the best player in the NBA, while Irving is arguably teetering on top-10 status.
Coaching multiple players of that caliber on the same team isn't for everyone, which may explain why Nash landed the Nets coaching job without any previous coaching experience.
He has a previous relationship with both Durant and Irving, plus he is a former NBA great in his own right, which should give him a higher comfort level working with them than most.
Also, if Durant and Irving were given any say in the hiring process, it stands to reason that they would have favored a former peer like Nash.
All the pieces are in place for the Nets to contend next season, and it will be up to Nash to make sure those pieces fit together as intended.