Canadian Steve Nash has been named the head coach of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
In a surprise move, the Nets named the Hall of Fame point guard as the team’s new coach, replacing interim coach Jacque Vaughn, who the team said would remain on the staff as Nash’s lead assistant.
The Nets reached the post-season despite the fact star guard Kyrie Irving played in just 20 games and Kevin Durant missed the entire season with injury. The two stars who came to Brooklyn together last summer are expected to be ready for the 2020-21 season.
“Coaching is something I knew I wanted to pursue when the time was right, and I am humbled to be able to work with the outstanding group of players and staff we have here in Brooklyn,” Nash said in a statement.
Prior to joining the Nets, Nash worked as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors, where he worked with Durant.
Nash, who was raised in Victoria, B.C., spent nearly two decades playing in the NBA, becoming a two-time MVP, eight-time all-star and earning a reputation as one of the game’s greatest playmakers.
Nash is the second Canadian head coach in NBA history. Jay Triano, who coached Nash on Canada’s men’s national team, helmed the Toronto Raptors and was interim head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
— With files from The Associated Press