I will be honest, when I got this update from Woj I had to triple take to make sure I was reading this right. This was something that came out of nowhere, and I am very pleased with this decision. This checks most of all the box’s for who I want to coach this team.
For this team in particular, it is most important that the superstars are happy with the decision. Kevin Durant and Nash have a relationship back when Nash was a consultant for Golden State a few years back. Kyrie and Nash don’t have a known relationship, but I am assuming Kyrie has a lot of respect for Nash. I also think that bringing in Nash is great for Kyrie, as learning from one of the greatest point guards with one of the greatest work ethics I have ever seen in my life will only benefit Kyrie. The next box that Nash checks is a not only a great former player (a back to back MVP), but a basketball genius that I am extremely confident his knowledge of the game makes him capable of being a great head coach.
The concerns that I have with Nash is with a lack of coaching experience, how will he command the locker room? How will he implement his basketball knowledge into being a head coach? Running a team through the point guard and being an extension of a head coach is much different from actually being the head coach.
With all of the concerns being stated, I am overall excitedly optimistic about this move. Putting aside my bias about Nash being one of my favorite players growing up, I suspect that this is one of the best moves that Brooklyn could’ve made.
For many years, Iife as a Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets fan has been difficult. Since the Jason Kidd era, we had to watch teams like the 2009 team win 12 games with Devin Harris as our best player and still miss out on the first pick (which turned out to be John Wall). We had watch Billy King make multiple trades that would make the hole that we were in grow even deeper. The most painful being the trade that would give Boston four first round picks, that would in turn give Boston the opportunity to build a strong young core in Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown while only getting back Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce way past their prime. I won’t even get into the fact they could’ve had Damian Lillard if they didn’t trade for Gerald Wallace, but I digress. The Nets finally have the potential to do something good, which will finally put this nightmare to rest. Let’s see how they made it to this point.
First and foremost, they hired Sean Marks to become their GM. Marks, with a history of being apart of a good basketball culture in San Antonio, brought that ideology to Brooklyn. The most incredible thing that Marks did in my opinion, was he realized the only asset Brooklyn had was an excess of money with nothing to do with it. Marks used that money to trade with teams for drafts picks that we still did not have from that Billy King trade years ago. By leveraging money to get draft picks from teams who had contracts they wanted to get rid of. These young players would turn out to be quality pieces for the Nets such as Jarret Allen and Rodions Kurucs. While also trading for a very young and talented player in D’Angelo Russell, and resigning and building up Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris Levert into quality pieces. All of these factors are a very important part of the story into where we are now.
Everybody knows that you can not win in this league without a superstar, but how do you get a superstar to want to join your team? You build up a culture that it is evident around the league that the players want to be there, and are just that superstar piece away from being a true contender. D’Angelo Russell was a great young player, but him being the best player on a playoff team at that point in his career speaks magnitude to the group of players the Nets had in that organization. This is exactly how the Nets were able to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Everybody forgets how good Kevin Durant is and to a lesser extent how good Kyrie Irving is (playing only 20 games last season). Make no mistake about it, the future is bright in Brooklyn. Let everyone get their jokes off now, because when Kevin Durant starts scoring they way he did before he got hurt, and Kyrie Irving proves again that he is an amazing Robin to Batman; we will be the ones laughing.
As civil unrest sweeps the country, professional sports have decided to take a step back and evaluate how they can do their part to create change. Many people are looking to the league superstars to take charge and lead the movement, but being good at sports doesn’t necessarily make you a leader on social reform. Charles Barkley was one of the best players of his generation, (good enough for the Monstars to steal his talent in Space Jam) and was quoted saying “Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” I am not saying that league superstars can’t be leaders of the movement, what I am saying is we may need to look elsewhere for better candidates.
Insert Jaylen Brown. I’ll be honest upfront, I am a die-hard Celtics fan so I think that Brown should have been an all-star, and that he is one of the best young talents currently in the NBA. But he is not someone a non-NBA fan would consider a “superstar”. Brown played high school basketball in Marietta, Georgia leading his team to a 6A state championship. After high school he played a year at Cal Berkeley before being drafted 3rd overall by the Celtics in the 2016 draft. He improved throughout his first 3 years before becoming a true star this season. But I’m not here to tell you that Jaylen Brown should be considered an all-star basketball player.
“Jaylen’s greatest impact, as good as he is at basketball, won’t be in basketball”
Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics Head Coach
Jaylen is considered one of the most intelligent players in the NBA. In fact, there were some that had him labeled as “too smart” for the NBA (asinine, I know.) While he was at Cal he took a masters level class as a freshman. His hobbies include learning new languages, and playing the piano. Jaylen has said “Education is very important to me and my family” and there is no arguing that as the man continues to expand his knowledge. Jaylen became the youngest NBPA Vice President after being voted in by his peers last February. Once again, I am not here to tell you that Jaylen Brown is an intelligent man and that’s what suits him to be a leader of the BLM movement. There have been many intelligent men throughout history that could not lead.
What I am here to tell you, is that Jaylen Brown should be the face of this movement because of action. How many times have you heard the term “actions speak louder than words”? I was already ready to make him the face of the movement when he decided to get in his car and drive 15 hours to his home state to lead protests after George Floyd was murdered. He’s an NBA player, he can afford a flight, but he understood the urgency of what was going on and took action. During the players meetings discussing whether or not to resume the playoffs in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting, Brown challenged his peers to take action. “If you guys leave here, are you just going to leave and go chill and hang out with your families and lose that loneliness? Or are you going to be in the trenches? Are you going to be in the streets?” Jaylen Brown has been leading this movement, it’s time we recognize that and make him the face of it.