Nets head coach Steve Nash said the franchise is “playing for a championship” as he prepares for his first season in charge.
Nash has taken his first steps into high-level coaching, appointed by the Nets to replace Kenny Atkinson, despite the Basketball Hall of Famer’s lack of experience.
The Nets have suffered back-to-back first-round exits in the NBA playoffs, while the franchise has not reached the NBA Finals since consecutive trips in 2002 and 2003, which were both unsuccessful.
Nash will have superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at his disposal and the two-time MVP is aiming high in Brooklyn.
“We’re playing for a championship,” Nash told season-ticket holders during a virtual event on Tuesday.
“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?'”
Nash added: “Are we growing? Are we striving? Are we pressure-tested? Are we continually asking of each other and ourselves that individual collective growth every day and creating an environment that is fun but challenging and collaborative?
“If those tenets are being met, there’s a lot of success and reward in that. But we are playing for a championship.”
The Nets, without the injured Durant and Irving, were swept by the Raptors inside the Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World Resort amid the coronavirus pandemic.