That was the shriek you might hear echoing from the bowels of downtown Brooklyn at roughly 1:03 pm EST after the Nets ousted head coach Steve Nash seven video games into the common season. Nash spent two years placing his head down, remaining above the fray, and massaging Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s chaotic ids just for the Nets to kick him to the curb on a cold Tuesday afternoon in October. It’s a troublesome enterprise. Adrian Wojnarowski’s report described Nash’s departure as a mutual settlement, however that’s a load of manure. At 2-5, Brooklyn is starting to decompose on the backside of the East. The Nets have to take probabilities and if studies are correct, they could have that in disgraced Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka.
Hiring Nash in the summertime of 2020 to be the ringleader of Brooklyn’s KD-Kyrie circus, was a dangerous transfer contemplating the mercurial nature of their stars, together with the previous level guard’s teaching inexperience. A Ken doll might have finished Nash’s job main the PR response anytime one of many Horrible Twos, Kyrie or KD, caught a finger in an electrical socket. It might be disingenuous to say that Nash’s message grew stale as a result of his superstars by no means really took to his teaching. Nash was merely the caretaker who rode the fluctuations in Irving and Durant’s moods. He hardly ever spoke up and difficult his superstars was out of the query. If Durant and Irving had their means, they’d be player-coach and player-GM.
Nash’s system had whittled right down to letting his two stars dribble the air out of the ball whereas they created pictures, whereas any teammates sharing the ground regarded on as observers. To his credit score, Nash was the stabilizing drive culture-wise within the Nets’ melodramatic locker room.
Nevertheless, Udoka’s imminent hiring gave the Nets’ sideshow one other plot twist. Reportedly, entrance workplace brass is closing in on an settlement with the Boston Celtics to call Udoka as their subsequent head coach whereas he serves a one-year suspension from Boston for his half in an affair with an worker of the Celtics. Udoka hopping between Jap Convention contender to pretender is an interesting flip of occasions for a number of causes. Udoka’s scandal appeared to poison the marketplace for his companies. Happily for Udoka, his suspension was issued internally by the Celtics, not the NBA’s league workplace — and Brooklyn is determined.
Apparently, he could also be simply the coach Brooklyn wanted — two years in the past. Earlier than Udoka disgraced himself in Boston and fumbled his relationship with Nia Lengthy, he was praised as a sideline chief who introduced accountability to the Celtics. In main Boston to the NBA Finals, Udoka’s teaching acumen was outlined by the self-discipline and accountability he instilled within the C’s stars.
Throughout the season, Udoka emphasized that superstars could catch hot grease from him just as easily as reserves. We’ll see how that tough love coaching philosophy mixes with two knuckleheads who have been allergic to coaching throughout their careers.
Udoka will have his work cut out for himself getting Durant and Irving to buy in offensively and defensively where they rank last in defensive efficiency through the first two weeks of the season. He’ll have to do all while also rebuilding Ben Simmons’ confidence. During his first and only season in Boston, Udoka also convinced Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown through a more critical brand of coaching than his predecessor’s softer touch.
“The point I wanted to get across was I am not one of those coaches who won’t say anything to the superstars, but will get on the young guys and role players,” Udoka said in a profile by The Athletic’s Jason Fast again in April. “That’s the way you lose credibility. We’ve all been there, the place coaches have finished that and the entire staff is wanting on the coach like, ‘OK, however the primary man is doing it and also you aren’t saying something?’ So my strategy is equal alternative so far as holding them accountable, if no more for Jayson and Jaylen, as a result of they’ve extra required of them.”
Udoka’s ideas on accountability hit in a different way now than they did again in June. Nevertheless, not like Nash, Udoka was a reserve who spent his profession grinding for jobs abroad and because the twelfth man on NBA rosters. His stance on teaching superstars doubtless hasn’t modified. How he meshes with Brooklyn’s temperamental trio will probably be fascinating to witness.
Conversely, Durant was particularly vital of the movement offense that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr employed in Golden State — the place he gained 4 titles, together with two with Durant — and believed coaches ought to get out of the way in which and let him get buckets. Within the postseason, Udoka’s Celtics protection uncovered the fallacy in Durant’s iso-heavy strategy by harassing him all through their four-game sweep.
Durant received his want with Nash’s ouster. It’s clear, nevertheless, that the Nets have determined they‘re now not within the enterprise of placating their two knuckleheads. This isn’t the primary alternate program the Nets and Celtics have mentioned. Earlier this offseason, the Nets demanded Tatum in a commerce for Durant. In the end, it might be too little too late. James Harden is lengthy gone, changed by a model of Ben Simmons who performs like he’s uninterested in skilled basketball. Udoka will face uncomfortable questions all season, Durant is 34 and Irving is a locker room arsonist coming into free company this offseason. The Udoka-KD-Kyrie-Simmons Nets are 4 broken commodities that’ll have to depend on one another to rebuild their manufacturers.
The Celtics will face the Nets in Brooklyn on Dec. 4 and Jan. 12 earlier than internet hosting the Nets in Boston for the primary time on Feb. 1, which means Udoka will actually coach on the sidelines of TD Gardens this season. Welcome to the new-and-improved Brooklyn circus, now with a brand new attraction.