Nash is Gone, but Dysfunction Remains for KD-Kyrie Nets


Somehow, a disorganized franchise became even messier, all in a span of about several hours.

First, The Nets fired Steve Nash after a 2-5 start to the season. This comes just months after Kevin Durant emphasized the “it’s me or him” approach to his future with the team. Then, to make things even crazier, Brooklyn is leaning towards signing former Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who comes to the franchise with his own recent baggage.

Now, take a deep breath. Now take another one. There’s a lot to unpack, from the on-the-court struggles to the handful of dramatic situations off the hardwood.

Towards the end of the offseason in August, the Nets were stuck in the same situation then as they are now: a neverending commitment to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. You could argue things only spiraled further out of control, given everything that has happened in the past week alone.

Apparently, the team is willing to hold onto the duo to the very end, no matter what.

But, at a certain point, the line gets crossed, especially with a team like Brooklyn.

Let’s get straight to the point by sorting out what’s happening and what this will mean for the Nets moving forward.

Nash is out, and Udoka is (probably) in

There are two sides to the coin to focus on regarding the Nets’ coaching situation.

Before we get to the Nash aspect, we need to talk about Ime Udoka.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the former Celtics coach was facing suspension from the team for his role in a consensual relationship with a female staff member. Though consensual, the relationship is morally wrong and an abuse of power by Udoka. There’s no place for this in the NBA. Without diving too much into the details, Udoka’s actions merited the punishment he received. No questions asked.

That is until the Nets reversed course and will all but likely sign him.

Just like that, Brooklyn (somehow) signed a coach with the most off-the-court baggage of any available candidate. The Nets now have a Mount Rushmore worth of drama in their franchise: Udoka, Ben Simmons, Irving, and Durant.

Now, let’s move on to the Nash portion of this. Durant said he was “shocked” by the news.

Yes, there’s little concrete proof, but there are doubts that KD was truly “shocked.” The case was made months ago that the relationship between Nash and KD-Kyrie deteriorated to an unreturnable point. During his trade request, Durant said to either trade him or fire Nash and GM Sean Marks. KD is on the record for those comments.

To be fair, Udoka turned Boston’s season around a year ago. And technically, the Nets had the right to sign him.

But the moral and ethical concerns, plus all the turmoil already on this team, is a recipe for disaster.

Here we go again with Kyrie

Did Kyrie Irving find his way on the news? Again? If it’s a day that ends in “y”, the answer is yes.

Recently, Irving promoted an anti-semitic film and book on several of his social media accounts. Both Nets owner Joe Tsai and the NBPA released responses in the past few days.

This adds to the list of many questionable actions by Irving. On a worse note, it’s another example of him shooting his team in the foot over and over again.

Since 2017, Irving became nothing but cancer in the locker room for any team who acquired him. He demanded out in both Cleveland and Boston. In Brooklyn, he derailed the Nets’ 2021-2022 season and nearly got KD to leave because he refused the COVID-19 vaccine. Irving asked for a trade over the summer, then retracted once he realized no franchise wants him. He’s been one of the most polarizing superstars of the last decade and consistently unavailable when his team needs it most.

And now, there’s this latest round of comments. At some point, when do the Nets pull the plug?

At the end of the day, it appears he’ll stay with the team. Somehow.

What’s next for the team moving forward?

Structurally, the Nets are a total mess from the top down.

On the court, Brooklyn ranks 28th in defensive rating and 26th in opponent points per game. KD and Kyrie combined are averaging over six turnovers per game. Simmons still looks rusty and mentally unprepared. It’s been a total disaster.

Even worse, there are no outs for the Nets. The team is mostly out of first-round draft picks from the first James Harden trade. Cap flexibility is a no-go and, unless Brooklyn ships out Irving for any value, there’s no Plan B outside of internal improvement.

In just a few hours, a bad situation grew worse. And again, we see the impacts that chaos, dysfunction, and a lack of chemistry can implode a contender from the inside overnight.

There’s still plenty of time left in the season. But, things are only going downhill for the Nets.

Fundamentally, the Nets doomed themselves from the start when they all but handed the franchise keys to Kyrie and KD. As time has progressed, a rotten situation has deteriorated into an irreversible circumstance.

As the famous saying goes: “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”

Clearly, Brooklyn never learned their lesson.

About Dominic Chiappone

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