It’s been a tumultuous start to the 2022-23 NBA season for the Brooklyn Nets. So far, they have a 2-6 record, which is very underwhelming considering the starpower they have with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and 2021 all-star Ben Simmons. According to NBA.com, they have the 3rd worst defense in the league, and they are ranked 23rd in three-point percentage. With these numbers, it comes as no surprise that they aren’t meeting their expectations for this season.
In response to this start, the Nets fired Steve Nash on Tuesday. Personally, I think this is a good move for them, and it opens the door for another coach with an actual offensive system to come in and change how the Nets play basketball. Under Nash, the Nets relied heavily on their stars to go out and play in isolation to score and make plays for others, instead of getting everyone involved. It was noticeable in the playoffs, especially last season, when they were swept by the Boston Celtics after their defense keyed in on fully stopping Durant and Irving.
Nash’s firing, however, wasn’t even the biggest bombshell dropped for that team on Tuesday. Only a few hours after the news of his firing was released, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, who was in the news last month for his season-long suspension from the Celtics, emerged as the likely candidate for the Nets head coaching job. I was a little skeptical at first about the details of how this would work, but it seems like the Celtics will let him leave for that job. For the Nets, I think it’s a great hire, considering Udoka made the finals in his first year as a head coach.
While the Udoka hiring may help solve some on-court issues, the Nets are still having trouble with things off the court as well. Kyrie Irving was in the news this past week for supporting a film and book many people are calling antisemitic, in which he was called out by Nets owner Joe Tsai. Irving apologized for the disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs, and called the antisemitic label untrue.
In my opinion, Kyrie doesn’t strike me as a person who would be intolerant of other religions, but then again, you never know. As for the Nets, they have a lot of work to do to get past the drama off-court and the issues on-court if they want to compete for this year’s 2023 NBA championship.
“Hit The Post” covers the latest topics in professional sports, with a focus on professional basketball. Each week, Arkese Claiborne covers the latest news and topics from both on and off the court.