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Kyrie Irving once famously said he didn’t see the Brooklyn Nets as having a head coach.
Now general manager Sean Marks is saying he believes the team’s best developmental coach may actually be a player on the roster.
“I think Kevin Durant is our best player development coach,” Marks told reporters Wednesday.
That sound you hear is the ears perking up somewhere on the Brooklyn bench. The Nets have nine different assistants on coach Steve Nash’s staff, including the highly regarded David Vanterpool and former Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn.
Marks was likely alluding to the fact that playing with someone of Durant’s caliber makes teammates better simply by having to work harder—the whole iron sharpens iron theory.
That said, words matter. The Nets coaching staff was criticized for the team’s lack of defensive cohesion and offensive flow during their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. While roster weaknesses played a part in Brooklyn’s elimination, it’s fair to wonder if a more experienced head coach could get more out of the roster.
Assuming Nash and Co. are coming back in 2022-23, it’s probably not the best time to cast any more doubt on the staff.