Kyrie Irving Credit: Bill Moore photo

The Brooklyn Nets have become one of the most confusing stories in sports, maybe the most mind-boggling in a long time. It started with the firing of former head coach Kenny Atkinson in March of 2020. Atkinson was reportedly forced out by players. Then Steve Nash was hired without having any prior coaching experience. His dismissal by the organization’s key decision makers on Tuesday is another head scratcher, specifically because of the timing. Why now?

Why would the Nets fire Nash on Tuesday after a 116-109 win over the Indiana Pacers, a win that ended the Nets’ four game losing streak, a night on which All Star forward Kevin Durant dropped 36 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Kyrie Irving chipped in 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists? 

Why didn’t the Nets fire Nash in early August, when Durant demanded of team owner Joe Tsai that he get rid of Nash then or that he, Durant, be traded? The two-time NBA Finals MVP also requested that general manager Sean Marks be fired too. On Tuesday Durant said he was “shocked” by Nash being given the boot. Really? Is Marks the next in line to have the standard press release written about him, thanking him for his great service, as was written about Nash?

Steve Nash Credit: Bill Moore photo

“We want to thank Steve for everything he brought to our franchise over the past two-plus seasons,” said Marks.

He continued, “Since becoming head coach, Steve was faced with a number of unprecedented challenges, and we are sincerely grateful for his leadership, patience and humility throughout his tenure,” then noted that “this was an immensely difficult decision. However, after much deliberation and evaluation of how the season has begun, we agreed that a change is necessary at this time,” ending with wishing Nash and his family “all the best in the future.”

Firing Nash is the latest Nets controversy, including who the next head coach will be if interim head coach Jacque Vaughn, also chosen as the interim when Atkinson stepped down, isn’t given the job. Maybe he was ousted now to take attention off of the controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving who posted a link without commenting on it to a documentary that has been widely called anti-Semitic.

Joe Harris’ gradual improvement after playing just 14 games last season due to an ankle injury, Ben Simmons’ slow start reacclimating himself to the game having not played since May of 2021, and Seth Curry’s slow recovery from ankle surgery have all been a reason for the Nets’ 2-6 start.

They are in Washington, D.C. tomorrow to play the Wizards with all of their baggage. They are in Charlotte to face the Hornets on Saturday, followed by a game versus the Mavericks in Dallas,  with rumors that Ime Udoka, who was suspended by the Boston Celtics in September for the entirety of this season for multiple team policy violations allegedly involving inappropriate interactions with women, is a leading candidate to replace Nash.

The Nets are a mess and there seems to no end in sight to their madness. 

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