Kevin Durant isn’t upset that Steve Nash was pegged as the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets last week.
Far from it.
Getting to learn under a former player like Nash, Durant said on JJ Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast on Thursday, is something he’s excited about.
“Every time I’m in the gym with him, I was always like a sponge,” Durant said on the podcast. "I'm looking forward to this man. I always feel like I'm a student of the game. Somebody who has experienced so much and played in different eras, I'm looking forward to him teaching me some more things about it as well."
Durant ‘looking forward’ to playing for Steve Nash
Nash, a two-time league MVP, was hired by the Nets last week to replace Kenny Atkinson — a decision that shocked the basketball world and seemed to come out of nowhere.
The Hall of Famer, who retired in 2014, has not coached at any level since leaving the league.
He did, however, work with the Golden State Warriors as a development consultant, which is where he got to work with Durant quite a bit. The two were introduced nearly a decade ago too, thanks to Nets assistant Adam Harrington, and got to compete against each other in the league near the end of Nash’s career.
“That level of knowledge runs deep, especially experiencing it on the floor,” Durant said on the podcast. "His insight for the game, his communication, how he communicates the game of basketball is definitely going to help me as a player develop and it's going to help the rest of our team.”
Durant, along with Kyrie Irving, have already turned the Nets into title favorites for next season — something Nash is now tasked with leading.
Though Durant hasn’t played in more than a year, and it may take some getting used to, Nash thinks his relationship with his new star player already has a great foundation to it.
"It's a privilege to work with one of the greatest players to ever play the game," Nash said Wednesday, via ESPN. "Someone who is incredibly coachable, inquisitive, and that lends itself to the question of searching. I think what I meant was that Kevin's always searching, he's always curious, inquisitive, developing as a human being. So he's a deep person who has a lot of goals and a lot about him, not just in basketball terms.
"I think my comment is more about Kevin as a human being, the type of person he is, about how he's always trying to grow, always trying to learn and always asking how he can get better. A big part of that is that Kevin is somebody that is never afraid to say, ‘Help me with this,’ ‘What do you think about that?’ So that's the type of confidence and security it takes to be able to ask for help or know what they don't know. And he has that along with an incredible drive, work ethic, toughness and historic talent."
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