Steve Nash Shares Sturdy Message After Lloyd Pierce’s Firing

Steve Nash and Lloyd Pierce


Steve Nash (left) and Lloyd Pierce

Steve Nash and Lloyd Pierce go means again.

The 2 went to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments collectively as teammates on Santa Clara’s basketball staff within the mid-90s. They each went on to have professional careers — Nash is a two-time NBA MVP, whereas Pierce performed abroad — earlier than touchdown within the teaching ranks. Up till Monday, each have been NBA head coaches.

After the Atlanta Hawks received off to a 14-20 begin, Pierce, who’s Black, was fired because the staff’s head coach, igniting a powerful, disapproving response throughout the league on Monday. Nash, now the top coach of the Brooklyn Nets, was among the many many who have been dissatisfied to listen to the information.

Nash Sounds off on Pierce’s Firing

Contemplating their lengthy and powerful friendship, it wasn’t a shock for Nash to hold forth in help of Pierce.

“He’s a heck of a younger coach and an unimaginable human being,” Nash mentioned, per NBA author Michael Scotto. “There could be a whole lot of organizations that may be very lucky to have him. Upset for Lloyd. Along with his expertise, character, and work ethic, he’s going to be positive.”

However Nash definitely wasn’t the one NBA head coach to voice frustration Monday over Pierce’s firing. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who is also the president of the Nationwide Basketball Coaches Affiliation, known as the transfer “insane,” per Forbes’ Doyle Rader.

“This can be a stunning improvement to all of us within the teaching world,” Carlisle mentioned, per Rader. “The timing appears odd. The staff had accidents, a whole lot of these sorts of issues, however Lloyd is a man that has had a profound impact on the panorama of social justice, notably over the past 12 months.

“He was the chairperson in Coaches for Racial Justice. He was the man that was the primary man in the whole NBA to facilitate his native area as a voting heart in Georgia. That triggered a series of occasions that led to 22 NBA arenas being licensed as voting facilities. As we’re all effectively conscious, the state of Georgia, in very giant half due to Lloyd’s work and his dedication, went from being a historically Republican state to a Democratic state—not solely within the electoral faculty vote within the presidential election, but in addition within the runoff elections in January, which has massively modified the panorama of our nation.”

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Might Pierce Be a Future Rent by Nash?

With the way in which Brooklyn’s offense is enjoying, Nets assistant coach Mike D’Antoni, who has had head-coaching stints with 4 totally different NBA groups beforehand, might be poised to land one other head-coaching function this offseason. And if that transpires, Nash would have a gap on his employees.

It might be a match made in heaven for the previous faculty teammates.

“Why wouldn’t you search [Nash] out?” Pierce informed the New York Submit’s Mike Vaccaro in a September article that dug into Nash’s ascension to Nets head coach. “He’s solely the most effective gamers to ever play the sport, with a lot data and a lot willingness to share it. He’s my buddy however this was an impressed alternative. … He was enjoyable to hang around with, enjoyable to drink with, enjoyable to converse with and enjoyable to play with. And what extra would you need than that?”

Nash and Pierce squared off as head coaches 3 times this season, with Nash’s Nets going 2-1 in these video games. Pierce had been trying ahead to going through his longtime buddy.

“I need to beat the [bleep] out of [Nash],” Pierce informed Vaccaro when Nash was employed by the Nets final yr. “However let me inform you one thing: He’s simply as aggressive as me, and he’d say the identical actual factor. That’s what the Nets are getting. I feel they’ll like what they see.”

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