Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash

Steve Nash, Nets mutually agree to split ways in midst of tumultuous start

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash and the team agreed to part ways on Tuesday. The Brooklyn Nets currently have a record of 2-5 after the Brooklyn Nets gained a victory against the Indiana Pacers on Monday. 

The news of Nash leaving the team, in addition to the Kyrie Irving controversy with his promotion of an anti-semitic film and the Kevin Durant trade debacle in the off-season, has created a mix of drama just seven games into the Nets' 2022-2023 season. Shams Charania, senior lead NBA Insider for The Athletic and Stadium, stated on Twitter that Jacque Vaughn would serve as the acting head coach of tonight's game against the Chicago Bulls in place of Nash. Vaughn has served as the assistant coach of Brooklyn since the 2016-2017 season, with a short tenure as the interim head coach after the mid-season departure of former head coach Kenny Atkinson in the 2019-2020 season. 

Nash took up the role as the head coach in the 2020-2021 season as a replacement for Atkinson. Nash left his tenure with the Brooklyn Nets garnering a 94-67 record. Expectations were high on Nash from the moment he stepped in as the coach of the Nets. Nash's resume as a player had analysts, fans and critics anticipating an excellent future for Brooklyn, especially with the rosters constructed during his time as head coach. 

With All-Star players such as Durant, Irving, and James Harden on the team, many expected a top record in the regular season and championship aspirations. Despite a record of 48-24 in the 2020-2021 season and having finished second in the Eastern Conference, the Nets had only won one playoff series against the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. They were eliminated by the eventual 2021 NBA Champions Milwaukee Bucks after a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

In the 2021-2022 season, the Nets and Nash failed to meet expectations again. They finished seventh place in the East with a record of 44-38 and traded a valuable offensive asset with Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons at the trade deadline. Harden requested a trade due to his personal frustrations with injuries and vaccination status of Irving

Simmons did not play a single game in the 2021-2022 season due to issues with his back and holding out as he waited for a trade from the 76ers. Simmons did not play after his trade to the Nets, with many citing a lack of competitive spirit in Simmons. The Brooklyn Nets could not advance further in the playoffs as the Boston Celtics swept them in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

Senior NBA insider for ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski Stated that the Brooklyn Nets expect to inquire with the suspended head coach of the Boston Celtics, Ime Udoka, and former head coach of the Utah Jazz, Quin Snyder, among others. The Brooklyn Nets look to get another second straight win against the Chicago Bulls with Vaughn currently at the helm on Tuesday night.

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