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Amar’e Stoudemire set to reunite with Steve Nash on Nets staff

October 27, 2020 John Torenli
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Amar’e Stoudemire was Steve Nash’s favorite option on the Phoenix Suns for six seasons.

Now, he’ll be his go-to guy on the bench.

Several media outlets are reporting that Nash, an NBA head-coaching neophyte who will be leading the Brooklyn Nets into arguably their most anticipated season ever, has added Stoudemire to his staff for next year.

The Nets have yet to make an official announcement on the hiring, but it was reported over the weekend that Stoudemire agreed to come aboard last Friday.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The 37-year-old Stoudemire played side-by-side with Nash, one of the best point guards of his generation, from 2004-2010 in Phoenix. Stoudemire flourished under the playmaker’s guidance, earning all but one of his six All-Star selections during that time.

Though he joins Nash in having no previous coaching experience in the NBA, Stoudemire has been playing internationally since retiring from the league in 2016. Earlier this year, he was named Israeli League Finals MVP after helping Maccabi Tel Aviv win the championship.

The former power forward has also played in China between his three separate stints in the Israeli League.

Stoudemire spent 14 years in the NBA before his international tour, playing for the Suns, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat before calling it a career.

But it was with Nash that Stoudemire became one of the league’s most-feared, high-flying big men, averaging career bests of 21.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest during his eight years with Phoenix.

Nash, who admittedly “skipped the line” in becoming the 23rd head coach in team history and eighth, including interims, during the Brooklyn era, may benefit from having a familiar face beside him on the bench.

The first-year coach agreed with superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving earlier this month when the dynamic tandem said that the team’s coaching would be handled as more of a “collaborative effort” between players and staff.

“I’m not in a position — nor do I want to be in a position — where I come in and say this is how we’re doing everything. I come in hat in hand in many respects,” Nash ceded.

“How have you done it in the past? What do you think works? I think having a collaborative, confident, talented [group] and hopefully we round out the staff with a ton of experience.”

Irving, a New Jersey native who has long wanted to help the Nets win their first-ever title, figures to have much to say on how Brooklyn basketball is played this coming year.

But that doesn’t mean he won’t be listening to Nash.

“Steve is great, and I have a relationship with him that’s going to build over time,” Irving said on his podcast back on Oct. 1.

Fortunately, Nash won’t have to wait to build a relationship with Stoudemire, who he has known since rejoining the Suns in 2004 following a stint in Dallas.

The two reached three Western Conference finals together as teammates, but never quite made it to the championship round.

Perhaps that’s something they’ll get another shot to accomplish together as coaches next season.

Though they probably won’t be having quite as much fun, Amar’e Stoudemire and new Nets head coach Steve Nash will reportedly be working on the same staff in Brooklyn next season. Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Nothing But Net: The Nets found out that this year’s NBA Draft will take place on Nov. 18 and will be the league’s first-ever virtual draft. Brooklyn will pick 19th and 55th overall, hoping to bolster a roster that is jam-packed with talent, especially if general manager Sean Marks can ink free-agent sharpshooter Joe Harris to a deal when free agency begins. The Nets have found talent in the draft over the past several seasons, taking the likes of blossoming young center Jarrett Allen in 2017, Rodions Kurics in 2018 and Nicolas Claxton last year.

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