Kevin Garnett: Nets Could 'Take over New York' After Hiring Steve Nash

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2018, file photo, Steve Nash speaks during induction ceremonies at the Basketball Hall of Fame, in Springfield, Mass. The Brooklyn Nets hired Steve Nash as their coach Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, putting the Hall of Fame point guard in charge of the team that hopes to have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving together next season. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Kevin Garnett has conflicted feelings about the Brooklyn Nets' hiring of Steve Nash given all the qualified Black candidates who were passed over.

That said, Garnett says Nash's hiring, along with last summer's signings of stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, have the chance to make the Nets the biggest thing in New York.

"I’m very very curious to see Steve [Nash and general manager Sean Marks] put all of this together and watch this thing blossom into something beautiful and possibly take over New York," Garnett said, per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.

The Nets hired Nash as their head coach last week despite his only experience being as a special assistant for the Golden State Warriors, a part-time role. Nash admitted to reporters earlier this week that he "skipped the line" because of his playing career and has benefited from white privilege in his life. 

"I haven't grinded it out as an assistant coach, like many people's path, but there's a precedent for players who have strong careers, who are leaders, anchors," Nash said. "I think to get this opportunity, as Steve Kerr and many other people have had great success, it's a unique situation, I think. But I definitely realize that I need support. I'm going to hopefully bring a lot of qualities and skills to the table that are unique and strong, but I'm going to need support and a collaborative staff that has a lot of experience and is willing to build this with me."

Garnett, who played a season-and-a-half in Brooklyn, said he believes in Nash's basketball mind and thinks his try as a coach will be a success. However, he took time to acknowledge the Black candidates who may have also found success coaching Durant and Irving.

“I think Steve will do a good job,” Garnett said. "He has good players there — matter of fact, he has two great players there. He has a great foundation to start off of, and I look forward to seeing Brooklyn being one of the better teams next year. And Steve’s influence is gonna be a lot of that success, and I look for him to do big things there.

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“But if I was to be candid, you’ve got Mark Jackson out there. You’ve got Sam Cassell out there. You’ve got Tyronn Lue out there. You know what I’m saying? Proven guys, but Steve’s my guy. I’ll support him in anything he does, but it was also some — in my estimation — some deeper candidates out there that Brooklyn could have went with.”

While it's possible Nash's privilege played a part in his hiring, this was clearly a move done with full support from Durant and Irving. Nash worked closely with Durant during his three years with the Warriors, and Irving will undoubtedly benefit from playing under one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.