Nets nix Nash after bad start in NBA

Steve Nash is out as Brooklyn Nets coach after a disappointing start and more controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving.

The Nets parted ways with the Hall of Fame point guard on Tuesday, a day after they beat Indiana to improve to 2-5.

The move leaves Australia's Ben Simmons preparing to work under a new coach in his first season playing for the Nets having been ruled out after joining them last season by back surgery.

Nash made it to this season though Kevin Durant said he wanted him out this summer, but not much longer. The Nets have been another mess, with bad play on the court and bad headlines off it.

The biggest -- again -- was created by Irving, who posted a link to an anti-semitic work on his Twitter page last week, drawing criticism from Nets owner Joe Tsai.

"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," general manager Sean Marks said.

"Personally, 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."

Nash posted a tweet titled "Thank you, Brooklyn" a short time after the announcement.

"A very heartfelt thanks to (owners) Joe and Clara Tsai along with Sean Marks for giving me the opportunity to coach the Brooklyn Nets," Nash posted. "It was an amazing experience with many challenges that I'm incredibly grateful for."

Nash led the Nets to a 92-62 record and the playoffs in both full seasons, his first as an NBA coach. But they lost Irving and James Harden to injuries during their second-round loss to Milwaukee in 2021, then were a first-round flop last season after trading Harden in exchange for Simmons during the middle of the season.

Most of their problems during the latter season were caused by Irving being unavailable for most of their home games because he refused to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, as mandated at the time in New York City.

Nash handled it all as best as possible, but apparently not good enough for his best player. Durant said he wanted to be traded this summer if the Nets didn't fire Marks and Nash, but Tsai stood by them and Durant eventually pulled back his request.

But things started poorly this season and Nash gave some his hardest criticism of the team during his tenure after their loss to Indiana on Saturday night. Much of that was ignored because the focus was on Irving's combative news conference defending his tweet, and the Nets beat the Pacers in the re-match Monday to end a four-game skid.

But Nash's tenure ended anyway a day later, hours before Brooklyn were set to host Chicago, a match Simmons was due to miss with knee soreness.