As a first-time head coach in the NBA, Steve Nash is taking on a lot of pressure when he begins his journey as the Brooklyn Nets bench boss.
Nash, of course, isn't shying away from any of it, knowing that expectations are high for a Nets franchise that features two perennial All-Stars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
"We're playing for a championship," Nash said during a virtual town hall in late October. "I don't want to say anything less than a championship isn't a success ... but we are playing for a championship, and we are going to build accordingly."
Nash went on to acknowledge that some luck is involved in winning a title. He also talked about the importance of defence to a championship team, saying that guarding the basket will be the bedrock of the Nets' defence.
With no prior experience as a head coach, there's little evidence available that Nash will turn out to be a success as a coach in the league. However, he does have success in helping build and lay the foundation for a program.
Nash spent seven years as the general manager of Team Canada where he worked to rebuild the program's connection with its players. An experience that he feels was a perfect step to help him get to where he is now.
"It definitely was a learning experience and one I really enjoyed," Nash said of his time with Canada Basketball. "Trying to transition that program into the modern era.
"When I was playing with the national team we had one or two NBA players now there's 16 to 20 NBA players - Canadians on NBA rosters which is...it would have been unfathomable if you told me that 20 years ago.
"So to try to engineer a program that had gotten a little bit lost, where there wasn't a lot of connectivity between it and the young players. There wasn't a culture around the program or exposure to the program that was inviting to a lot of the young NBA players or burgeoning NBA players.
"So trying to transition that and create a culture and a service-based program where we're offering our players a chance to get better but also realize goals and as a national team was, I think an important step for the program, it was important for me to learn what the foundations of that are the building blocks strategy, how to listen, to create something collaboratively. So it was an important step in my career to go through that process and I'm sure it services me every day whether I realize it's directly or indirectly."
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