It seems it should go without saying: If you have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on a team, that franchise is thinking rings and banners. The Brooklyn Nets are healthy and thinking championship.
Please don’t take my word for it, here is what new Nets coach Steve Nash said in a town hall on Tuesday (hat tip Tim Bontemps of ESPN).
“We’re playing for a championship. I don’t want to say that anything less than a championship is not a success because you never know what happens in life, you never know the way the ball bounces. Fortune is a big part of winning an NBA championship. But we are playing for a championship and we’re going to build accordingly. We’re going to frame everything we do in the lens of, ‘Is this a championship characteristic?’ or ‘Is this worth championship quality?’”
Brooklyn is one of the championship favorites and has good odds to come out of the East, but there are a lot of questions for Nash, his players, and the franchise still to answer. First, what will the roster look like? Will the Nets’ re-sign Joe Harris? Will Brooklyn make a trade for a third star (such as Victor Oladipo)?
Beyond that, how healthy are Durant and Irving, and are they back to their elite levels of play? How will the role players adapt to having those two stars in the mix for what had been a selfless, sum-is-greater-than-the-parts team? Can Steve Nash coach?
Nash said he’s not exactly sure what this team will look like on the court, but he is flexible to what that will ultimately look like.
“It’s all sort of to be determined, and I definitely don’t wanna come in with too many hard-and-fast concepts and designs. I’d much rather come in with principles with ideas that allow our players to collaborate with us and allow their personalities and the dynamic between them and the chemistry to have a role in how it evolves. People talk about the Phoenix teams I played on, and this sort of revolutionary tone of how it impacted the game, but the truth be told, Mike D’Antoni’s brilliance in much of that was he allowed it to evolve instead of getting in the way.”
Nash will try and stay out of the way, but will that be enough to get Brooklyn a championship?