Assistants with ties to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant could land on Nets’ coaching staff

Phil Handy coaching with LakersPhil Handy coaching with Lakers
Phil Handy coaching with Lakers
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A few notes on Steve Nash’s coaching staff and other staffs around the league:» data-reactid=»23″>A few notes on Steve Nash’s coaching staff and other staffs around the league:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Oklahoma City’s Brian Keefe is one assistant that some people with Brooklyn see as a strong fit for Nash’s staff, per SNY sources.» data-reactid=»24″>Oklahoma City’s Brian Keefe is one assistant that some people with Brooklyn see as a strong fit for Nash’s staff, per SNY sources.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Keefe was coaching in Oklahoma City when Kevin Durant was with the organization. He was with the Knicks during Derek Fisher’s tenure and coached in Los Angeles under Luke Walton.» data-reactid=»25″>Keefe was coaching in Oklahoma City when Kevin Durant was with the organization. He was with the Knicks during Derek Fisher’s tenure and coached in Los Angeles under Luke Walton.

Keefe was Donovan’s top assistant in Oklahoma City.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Nash’s top assistant is Jacque Vaughn. Brooklyn assistant coach Adam Harrington is expected to remain on Nash’s staff. He has a close relationship with both Nash and Durant.» data-reactid=»31″>Nash’s top assistant is Jacque Vaughn. Brooklyn assistant coach Adam Harrington is expected to remain on Nash’s staff. He has a close relationship with both Nash and Durant.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy is also seen as a candidate for Nash’s staff by some people in the Nets organization, SNY sources confirm.» data-reactid=»32″>Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy is also seen as a candidate for Nash’s staff by some people in the Nets organization, SNY sources confirm.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Handy is close with Kyrie Irving. The Athletic first reported that Handy was one of the assistant coaches on Brooklyn’s radar.» data-reactid=»33″>Handy is close with Kyrie Irving. The Athletic first reported that Handy was one of the assistant coaches on Brooklyn’s radar.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="As others have reported, Tyronn Lue is a favorite to land the Clippers head coaching job and replace Doc Rivers, who agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.» data-reactid=»34″>As others have reported, Tyronn Lue is a favorite to land the Clippers head coaching job and replace Doc Rivers, who agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="If Lue ends up with the Clippers and Chauncey Billups doesn’t land one of the other head coaching jobs (New Orleans, Houston, Indiana), then Billups could end up as Lue’s lead assistant.» data-reactid=»35″>If Lue ends up with the Clippers and Chauncey Billups doesn’t land one of the other head coaching jobs (New Orleans, Houston, Indiana), then Billups could end up as Lue’s lead assistant.

Several prominent members of the Clippers organization hold Billups in high regard, per sources. Billups was the club’s color analyst on television last season but, per ESPN, is interested in coaching.

If Lue lands the Clippers job, there will be an interesting ‘what if’ in Los Angeles. Shortly before Magic Johnson stepped down, people around Lue strongly believed he was getting the Lakers job.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="JVG, MARK JACKSON FANS OF NASH: Most of the attention around Brooklyn on Thursday was surrounding Irving and Durant’s comments about collaborative coaching.» data-reactid=»38″>JVG, MARK JACKSON FANS OF NASH: Most of the attention around Brooklyn on Thursday was surrounding Irving and Durant’s comments about collaborative coaching.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Earlier in the day, ESPN analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy both strongly endorsed Brooklyn’s new head coach.» data-reactid=»39″>Earlier in the day, ESPN analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy both strongly endorsed Brooklyn’s new head coach.

Here’s what Jackson said during a conference call to promote ESPN/ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals: “Well, Steve Nash is one of the all-time great not just point guards but players in the history of this game, and I’m a guy speaking from experience. I really believe that if you played the point guard position the way it’s supposed to be played, you have been the lead assistant on any team you played for. I feel that way when you talk about Steve Nash.

“He was entrusted with an offense that he was an extension of the coach on the floor night in and night out and had a career of performing masterfully at the point guard position.

“I think it’s a new job for him, it’s a new task for him, so surrounding himself with the right people. I think he’s more than capable and qualified to do the job. You win in this league with talent, and I’m sure that his body of work as a player and as a leader speaks volumes for him, and he’ll be just fine.”

Here are Van Gundy’s thoughts on Nash: “I’ve always felt that people underestimate when they say a guy is inexperienced. They discount long playing careers. Those are incredibly important experiences that you gain as a star player and at that position in particular. So I don’t look at him as inexperienced.

“I know this: I went from being an assistant coach to a head coach. The two jobs could not be more dissimilar. There’s nothing that you do as an assistant coach that even approximates what goes on as a head coach.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“I think everybody is inexperienced until you do it. Whether you've been an assistant for 20 years or you've never been an assistant coach in your life. And I think Steve will do a tremendous job. They're blessed with an extremely talented roster there. They have new ownership that is driven to win. Sean Marks is a proven leader, and I think Steve will assemble a tremendous staff, as well, to help him wherever he feels he needs help.» data-reactid=»45″>“I think everybody is inexperienced until you do it. Whether you’ve been an assistant for 20 years or you’ve never been an assistant coach in your life. And I think Steve will do a tremendous job. They’re blessed with an extremely talented roster there. They have new ownership that is driven to win. Sean Marks is a proven leader, and I think Steve will assemble a tremendous staff, as well, to help him wherever he feels he needs help.

“But I think people would be making a grave mistake underestimating Steve Nash’s experience and Steve Nash’s leadership ability.”