Steve Nash Suspects New Nets Will Resemble Old Suns

New coach Steve Nash and the new-look Brooklyn Nets of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are ready to rock and roll, run and gun and have tons of fun.

That's the word from Nash, who knows plenty about running. Most remember him as the floor director of the Phoenix Suns' "Seven Seconds or Less" offense of the early 2000s. He indicated the Nets will play much the same way.

“We want to play an uptempo style. We want to push the ball in transition and play in the open court. And in the half-court, we want to make quick decisions, space the floor, take advantage of our playmaking and shooting,” Nash said in a Zoom call with reporters. “We have some centers that are vertical threats, so we can really put pressure on people above the rim, but also stretch them and make the court big and difficult to cover.”

Those old Suns teams were coached by Mike D'Antoni. Nash was the point guard and won back-to-back league MVPs. Now, D'Antoni works for Nash as the Nets' lead assistant. Nash calls D'Antoni the offensive coordinator.

“He’s already everyone’s favorite in the office,” Nash said. “He’s definitely brought his typical personality and charm and sense of humor. For someone who’s been a head coach for so long and had so much success, he’s incredibly humble.”

D'Antoni arrives after four seasons as head coach of the Houston Rockets. He may be relieved to be in an assistant's chair, though he did interview for head coaching vacancies with the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers during the offseason.

Nash sounds glad D'Antoni didn't get those jobs.

“He’s given me a tremendous amount of comfort, somebody you have a relationship with who can help guide — call or text or knock on his door — to gain his thoughts,” Nash said. “Mike’s been in the position where he’s done this so long and has such a unique perspective and skill set. He’s been incredible for me, but also been great every day here in the building, and people have gravitated to him quickly.”

Nash, D'Antoni, Durant, Irving. Sounds like "Seven Seconds or Less" all over again. Or does it?

“I definitely think there’ll be similarities. But I also think, clearly, the way we played in Phoenix is very common in today’s game,” Nash said. “You look around the league, a lot of teams look in some ways similar to that. We will have some similarities, but you also have to consider and blend with the personnel you have. So some of that is strategic, some of that is organic. We’re going to let it grow.”

No matter how the Nets play, Nash understands the pressure is really on in his first season as a head coach at any level. He also knows it helps to have a couple of superstars, even if Durant and Irving are also in their first run as teammates.

“I’m in a fortunate position where I get to coach Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving,” he said. “What we built here in a short period of time, how we’re going to practice and play is exciting.

“I’m thrilled that I get to coach those guys.”

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Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,