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The past six months have been a steady churn of front-office turnover, all over the NBA. Teams like the Knicks, Nuggets, Rockets, Bulls and 76ers have basically remade their front-office basketball operations structures. A whopping eight teams will start next season with a new head coach. But no team has seen as much change on their coaching staff as the Brooklyn Nets.
They lured Steve Nash off the amateur soccer pitch to take over as head coach, with interim head coach Jacque Vaughn staying on as his lead assistant. They hired Nash’s former pick-and-roll partner Amare Stoudemire as an assistant and today announced that they had also added Mike D’Antoni and Ime Udoka to the staff. Udoka is a highly regarded assistant from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree and D’Antoni needs no introduction.
And complicating things even further were Kyrie Irving’s comments on Kevin Durant’s podcast a few weeks ago, describing the coaching situation as collaborative: “I don’t really see us having a head coach. KD could be a head coach, I could be a head coach [some days].”
Having so many cooks in the kitchen could be a challenge but it helps that so many of them already have strong pre-existing relationships. The key to making this work, obviously, is going to be setting clear responsibilities. The Nets haven’t made any announcements but here’s how I would propose delegating power.
Who should be in charge of what on the Brooklyn Nets’ coaching staff?
Steve Nash: The team’s EPL fantasy league, joint-rolling, general vibes, offensive strategy, media communications, corner kicks and other set-pieces
Jacque Vaughn: The team’s defensive strategy
Mike D’Antoni: Mustache maintenance, counting loudly to seven on every possession, coaxing Boris Diaw out of retirement, out-of-bounds plays
Amare Stoudemire: Wine selection (for soaking), working with DeAndre Jordan on showing Jarrett Allen how to dunk defenders out of existence
Ime Udoka: Wine selection (for drinking), player development
Kyrie Irving: Metaphysical research and spiritual exploration, the opening and closing of appropriate chakras, sarcastic eye-rolling, assisting Nash with general vibe management
Kevin Durant: Getting buckets, social media strategy
Jason Watts will be looking to make history on NBA Draft night, as the first player selected from a Canadian college since 1994. He talked with The Step Back about his unique basketball journey and what he can offer an NBA team.
The first offseason step for every WNBA team is assessing the previous roster. Looking at each team’s own free agents, who is the one that must be kept?