The Brooklyn Nets looked like the team to beat last season, at least on paper. Their personnel was like something out of a videogame, and they had one of the greatest basketball minds leading the way on the bench.
Obviously, Steve Nash's lack of experience as a coach cast some doubts at first. But it's fair to say that he did a pretty good job, considering injuries forced him to tweak his rotations more often than he would've wanted.
More than that, it was clear that Nash had his star players' ears. He could approach them and they would put their egos aside to get a glimpse of his insight.
That's why James Harden showered him in praise after just one season under his tutelage, deeming him the "ultimate player's coach":
SI: How would you describe Steve Nash as a head coach?
JH: Ultimate players’ coach. He was a great point guard, and you really see that during situations in the game. There’s a real difference where with him he actually played the game and played it at an elite level, so he understands every game situation. Actually being in high-level moments so often over the years, that’s a big benefit for us.
SI: Were there any adjustments you had to make in Brooklyn after being the unquestioned top option in Houston for so long?
JH: There really wasn’t any adjustment. I still play how I play, but now I don’t have to shoot the ball so much. It’s really the best style for me, to be honest. Kevin and Kyrie can always go get a bucket, and, with me as a playmaker, I can think about how to get shooters involved, how to get bigs touches, how to create open shots. My main focus is trying to get everybody involved and have each guy make an impact on the game.
There was never a doubt that Nash's intelligence as a player would translate to coaching. He was an extension of the coach and a floor general throughout his entire career.
Now, he'll have the chance to accomplish what he could never do as a player: Winning an NBA Championship, and he sure has the personnel to pull it off.