Steve Nash discusses new job as Nets head coach

New Nets coach Steve Nash really, really knows how to play basketball. But he’ll be learning coaching on the job. Here’s the New York Daily News:

Not even Steve Nash expects himself to be a tactical expert on the sideline. As the head coaching job has evolved in the NBA over the years — from essentially strict principal to guidance counselor — Nash said he’s focusing on his strengths of relationships and culture, which was why the Nets hired him for a championship run despite zero coaching experience.

“I wasn’t hired to come in and be a tactical wizard,” Nash said in JJ Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast. “I think they understand that my acumen for the game is strong and I can catch up on any of the tactical aspects. I think they hired me because of my experience, the personality to work with these guys and help them grow and reach their potential and bring it all together. I can’t lose sight of that.

“I can’t come in and start being Mr. X’s and O’s, and lose sight of the fact that of course I want to be strong in all departments, but I have to lead with my understanding of group dynamics, leading, having gone through the experience that these guys have gone through. I’ve been there… I got to lead with why I was brought here and what they saw in me and catch up in other departments.”

After observing Nash both on and off the court for a long time, it seems he definitely has potential to be a natural on the sideline. And he’s joining a talent-filled team that is built around proven stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, up-and-coming star Caris LeVert, and a very capable supporting cast.

It’ll be fun to watch unfold.

Nets hire Steve Nash as head coach

The Brooklyn Nets have named Steve Nash as the 23rd head coach in the franchise’s NBA history.

“After meeting with a number of highly accomplished coaching candidates from diverse backgrounds, we knew we had a difficult decision to make,” said General Manager Sean Marks. “In Steve we see a leader, communicator and mentor who will garner the respect of our players. I have had the privilege to know Steve for many years. One of the great on-court leaders in our game, I have witnessed firsthand his basketball acumen and selfless approach to prioritize team success. His instincts for the game, combined with an inherent ability to communicate with and unite players towards a common goal, will prepare us to compete at the highest levels of the league. We are excited to welcome Steve, Lilla, Lola, Bella, Matteo, Luca and Ruby to Brooklyn.”

In addition, the team announced that Jacque Vaughn will return to Brooklyn as lead assistant coach.

“We are thrilled to retain Jacque as a leading member of our coaching staff,” continued Marks. “Jacque has been an integral part of our program and a key contributor to the growth and development of our entire organization. His role in developing our players both on and off the court and his influence driving our culture have been invaluable. Our players will benefit from the continuity of Jacque’s presence, and we are extremely fortunate to keep him in our Nets family.”

Nash joins the Nets following five seasons as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors, where he contributed to two NBA Championship teams and made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

“We are excited to welcome Steve to the Nets family and look forward to a successful and meaningful partnership,” said Nets Governor Joe Tsai. “Steve shares our vision for the future of this franchise and his character exemplifies the core principles of our organization in working to serve our communities. I can’t wait for Steve to get started.”

An eight-time NBA All-Star, Nash played 18 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers. He won back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and 2006 while playing for the Suns, becoming just the 10th player in NBA history to win the award in consecutive seasons. Nash was named to All-NBA teams seven times throughout his career, earning first-team honors three times (2005-07), while twice being named to the second (2008, 2010) and third teams (2002, 2003). A five-time assist champion, Nash currently ranks third in NBA history with 10,335 career assists. The culmination of his brilliant playing career came in 2018 when Nash was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“I am honored to have this opportunity with such a first-class organization and would like to thank Sean, Joe and his wife, Clara, for having faith in my ability to lead this team forward,” said Nash. “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. I am as excited about the prospects of the team on the court as I am about moving to Brooklyn with my family and becoming impactful members of this community.”

Having grown up in Victoria, British Columbia, Nash is one of the most accomplished figures in Canadian basketball history. He was a member of Team Canada from 1993-2004 and served as general manager for the senior national team from 2012-19. Nash played collegiately for four seasons at Santa Clara University prior to being selected 15th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft.

Almost every key Nets player will miss Tuesday’s game vs Bucks

The Nets will be without an extraordinary number of players tomorrow in their game against a Bucks team that boasts the best record in the NBA. But somebody has to suit up. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Add Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen to the Nets’ already lengthy injury report.

LeVert (thigh contusion), Harris (hamstring and back tightness) and Allen, who is out due to “unusual circumstances,” will all sit out when the Nets play the league-best Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

Reminder: This team is already without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince and Wilson Chandler. That means against Milwaukee, the Nets will lack their top eight scorers…

The Nets have also yet to make a decision on Jamal Crawford, who has yet to play a scrimmage or a game for the team in the Orlando bubble. Vaughn said the performance team will make a decision Tuesday morning.

They could trot out a starting lineup of Chris Chiozza, Garrett Temple, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Justin Anderson and Rodions Kurucs. All of those players, except the veteran Temple, saw time in the G-League this season.

The Nets are currently in 8th place in the Eastern conference, and as short-handed as they are, it would take a small miracle for the 9th place Wizards — who are also missing star players — to go on a big-enough run to swipe that 8th spot.

Lance Thomas happy for opportunity with Nets at NBA restart

The Nets, with much of their top talent unavailable for the upcoming NBA restart, recently added forward Lance Thomas. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

The 32-year-old Thomas is thrilled to have the opportunity. The defensive-minded forward spent training camp with the Nets, but he was waived on Oct. 18. Nobody picked him up following four seasons with the Knicks. He stayed mostly at home in his New York City apartment due to the virus until June, but stayed in shape and had recently been working out at the NBAPA’s gym…

“Me, personally, I’m going to just be tenacious,” Thomas said. “Make open shots, do whatever the team needs me to do, probably guard the other team’s best player, do things that got me into the league, things that I enjoy doing. … I play the hand I’m dealt. I think myself being a player who’s been in the league you learn how to quickly adapt to any situation. Again, I’m ready for whatever comes my way.”

Thomas helps add depth, but the team’s likely biggest need may be scoring. But points may be hard to come by. Look for Nets shooting guard Caris LeVert, by far the best bucket-producer on the team who will be active during the league restart, to have a serious green light.

Nets sign Justin Anderson as Substitute Player for NBA restart

The Brooklyn Nets have signed guard/forward Justin Anderson as a Substitute Player for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season.

The Nets are incredibly short-handed going into the NBA restart, which tips off July 30 at the single-location NBA campus at Disney Wide World of Sports in Florida, with 22 participating teams.

Anderson (6’5”, 231) was previously signed to a 10-day contract with Brooklyn on Jan. 6 and appeared in three games. He also saw action in 16 games (14 starts) this season with Brooklyn’s NBA G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, averaging a team-high 20.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 33.6 minutes per game en route to All-NBA G League Third Team honors.

The Montross, Va., native has appeared in 219 games across five NBA seasons with Dallas (2015-17), Philadelphia (2017-18), Atlanta (2018-19) and Brooklyn (2020), recording averages of 5.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per contest. He has also seen action in 38 career NBA G League games, registering averages of 21.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 34.5 minutes per game.

With a 30-34 record, the Nets sit 7th in the Eastern conference, above the 8th place Magic and 9th place Wizards. Although Orlando is a healthy squad, the Wizards are without backcourt stars John Wall and Bradley Beal. The Nets face a tough road during the “seeding games” they’ll be playing, but the Wizards, who are 5.5 games out of the 8th spot, face an incredibly difficult task.

Anderson was originally selected by the Mavericks with the 21st pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft following a three-year (2012-15) collegiate career at the University of Virginia. While playing for the Cavaliers, Anderson earned National Basketball Coaches Association All-America Third Team honors and was named to the All-ACC Second Team as a junior. He was also named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association as a sophomore.

Nets sign Lance Thomas as Substitute Player for NBA restart

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward Lance Thomas as a Substitute Player for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

Thomas (6’8”, 235) has seen action in 392 career games (124 starts) across eight NBA seasons with New Orleans (2011-13), Oklahoma City (2014-15) and New York (2015-19), recording averages of 5.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game. The 32-year-old last suited up for an NBA team with the Nets in the 2019 preseason, appearing in one game prior to being waived on Oct. 18.

Thomas went undrafted in 2010 after a four-year (2006-10) collegiate career at Duke, where he earned ACC All-Defensive Team honors as a senior while helping the Blue Devils capture the 2010 NCAA National Championship.

In EuroLeague, Toko Shengelia signs with CSKA Moscow

Here’s Euroleague.net reporting on a former NBA player signing a new deal overseas:

CSKA Moscow solidified an already-strong roster by signing one of the premier players on the continent, former All-EuroLeague First Team selection Toko Shengelia, to a three-year contract on Thursday. Shengelia (2.06 meters, 28 years old) arrives from KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, where he spent the last six seasons. He averaged 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 28 EuroLeague games last season

Shengelia played briefly in the NBA, between 2012-14, mostly for the Nets, plus nine games for the Bulls, for a career average of 1.3 points in 5.5 minutes per game.

Nets sign Donta Hall as Substitute Player for NBA restart

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward/center Donta Hall as a Substitute Player for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season.

Hall (6’9”, 229) signed two consecutive 10-day contracts as a rookie with the Detroit Pistons this season, appearing in four games and averaging 1.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per contest. Suiting up in 38 games (37 starts) for the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA G League in 2019-20, the Alabama native recorded averages of 15.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks in 28.6 minutes per game, earning him All-NBA G League Second Team and All-Rookie Team honors.

The 22-year-old went undrafted in 2019 after a four-year (2015-19) collegiate career at the University of Alabama, appearing in 135 career games (85 starts) and averaging 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 20.8 minutes per contest. He was a two-time SEC All-Defensive Team honoree (2018, 2019) and became just the fifth player in Crimson Tide history to record more than 1,000 points (1,014), 800 rebounds (850) and 200 blocks (228) in a career.

Nets sign Michael Beasley as Substitute Player for NBA restart

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward Michael Beasley as a Substitute Player for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

Per the New York Post, “Beasley hasn’t played in the league since February 2019, spending this season in China. But he averaged 13.2 points on 50.7 percent shooting two years ago with the Knicks, and Durant wanted Beasley to join him in Golden State last season. Now he’ll get his wish.”

Beasley (6’9”, 235) has seen action in 609 career games (238 starts) across 11 NBA seasons with Miami (2008-10, 2013-14, 2015), Minnesota (2010-12), Phoenix (2012-13), Houston (2016), Milwaukee (2016-17), New York (2017-18) and the L.A. Lakers (2018-19), recording averages of 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 22.8 minutes per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from 3-point range and 75.9 percent from the free-throw line. He’s logged action in 25 career postseason games over five playoff appearances, most recently with the Bucks in 2017.

The Maryland native has also had three stints in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Shanghai Sharks (2014-15), Shandong Golden Stars (2015-16) and the Guangdong Southern Tigers (2019), helping lead the Tigers to the 2019 CBA championship. Beasley last appeared in an NBA game in February 2019 with the Lakers.

Beasley was originally selected with the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by Miami and earned All-Rookie First Team honors in his inaugural season. Prior to beginning his NBA career, the 31-year-old spent one year (2007-08) at Kansas State, where he was named Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Freshman of the Year and set the school’s single-season record for points scored (866), rebounds (408) and double-doubles (28) en route to becoming one of just two first team All-Americans in program history.

Nets sign 40-year-old scoring guard Jamal Crawford as Substitute Player for NBA restart

The Brooklyn Nets have signed guard Jamal Crawford as a Substitute Player for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

Per the New York Post, “the decimated Nets have lost six players to injury or COVID-19, and arrived in Orlando on Tuesday with just a dozen available bodies. But they’re bringing in a fresh faces, half reinforcements for 2020 and half tryouts for 2021. And it’s likely no coincidence that Kevin Durant’s close friend Beasley is among them.”

Crawford (6’5”, 185) has appeared in 1,326 career games (433 starts) across 19 NBA seasons, the most of any active player, with Chicago (2000-04), New York (2004-08), Golden State (2008-09), Atlanta (2009-11), Portland (2011-12), the L.A. Clippers (2012-17), Minnesota (2017-18) and Phoenix (2018-19), registering averages of 14.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 29.4 minutes per game, while shooting 41.0 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from 3-point range and 86.2 percent from the free-throw line. He last appeared in an NBA game in the 2018-19 regular season finale with the Suns, becoming the oldest player in NBA history (39 years, 20 days) to record a 50-point game when he scored 51 points against the Mavericks. He also became the first player in league history to register a 50-point game for four different teams. Crawford has made eight postseason appearances, notching averages of 14.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.1 minutes per contest in 74 games.

More from the Post: “This is a low-risk audition for cost-effective vets to fill out the roster next season should Brooklyn bring in a third star to join Durant and Kyrie Irving. Building a Big Three means following the blueprint of Miami, Cleveland and Golden State, and using their taxpayer’s exception ($18 million over three years) wisely.”

The Seattle native is a three-time Sixth Man of the Year, winning the award with the Hawks (2009-10) and Clippers (2013-14 and 2015-16), while becoming one of just two players in the 37-year history of the award to win it three times, joining Clippers guard Lou Williams. Crawford also earned the NBA’s Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award in 2018 with Minnesota. He ranks eighth in NBA history in 3-pointers made (2,220), 18th in games played (first among active players) and seventh among active players in points scored (19,414).

Crawford was originally selected with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft by Cleveland before having his draft rights traded to Chicago. He spent one year (1999-00) at the University of Michigan prior to embarking on his NBA career.