Amid criticism over his lack of experience relative to some of the NBA’s longtime assistant coaches, Steve Nash offered an assessment of his rapid ascent from part-time player development consultant to head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

“Well, I did skip the line, frankly,” Nash said during his introductory press conference Wednesday, according to YES Network. “At the same time, I think leading an NBA team for almost two decades is pretty unique.”

Nash plied his trade in the league from 1996-2014, predominantly as the face of the Phoenix Suns. In addition to starting over 1,000 games and earning eight All-Star selections, the Canadian floor general captured back-to-back MVP trophies in 2005 and 2006. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2018.

“To lead a team is such a unique position,” Nash said. “To be the head of the team on the floor; to think on the fly; to manage personalities, people, and skill sets; to bring people together; to collaborate with a coach and a coaching staff for almost two decades – it’s not like I was in a vacuum.”

After retiring as a player, Nash took up a number of off-court pursuits, including working as an infrequent consultant with the Golden State Warriors and serving as general manager of Canada’s senior men’s national team.

The 46-year-old also addressed the notion that race may have played a role in his hiring. While acknowledging that he has “benefited from white privilege” in his life, Nash said he wasn’t sure his hiring “is an example that purely fits that conversation.”

“He didn’t create (the disproportionate number of Black coaches in the NBA),” Colangelo told the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy on Sunday. “He was offered an opportunity, and he’s a big boy. He understood what saying ‘yes’ might cause or create certain kinds of speculation. But he was willing to do that.”

The 80-year-old added: “We’re just living in a very precarious time and every decision is looked at with a microscope and race is brought into it. Sometimes it’s justified, sometimes it’s not.”

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