Jason Kidd on Steve Nash: ‘He’s one of the better coaches in this league’

Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd is sticking up for his longtime friend, Nets head coach Steve Nash.

Ahead of the Nets’ matchup against the Mavericks on Thursday, Kidd called Nash “one of the better coaches in this league,” and said he empathized with the drama Nash dealt with this offseason.

“I think we’d (both) rather be playing (than coaching),” Kidd joked. “It’s great that Steve is in the game as a head coach, and his IQ is off the charts, his work ethic — the way he works is the same as if he was playing. He’s going to be detail oriented (and) he’s going to put his guys in a position to be successful.”

Kidd’s praise of Nash comes months after star forward Kevin Durant requested a trade from Brooklyn, then subsequently presented ownership with an ultimatum: either trade him to one of his preferred destinations, or fire both Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Ownership did neither and Durant cleared the air with Nash and Marks.

Weeks later, Nets fans booed Nash when he was introduced at the team’s public Practice in the Park. Brooklyn entered its matchup against Dallas with a 1-4 record.

Kidd suggested Nash, in his third season with the Nets, is an underrated NBA head coach.

“I know he’s getting a lot of slack or a lot of finger pointing,” Kidd said. “But he’s a young coach. You got to give him time, too.”

Kidd also has a relationship with Marks and felt for both of them when their jobs were potentially on the line this summer.

“Hell yeah (I felt bad for them). That’s not fun,” he said. “They’re human, and it’s unfortunate, but you go through it. You learn. It’s a game that we all try to win, and you try to perfect it. It’s the hardest thing to perfect. But that’s business. It happens, but those two are good young men.

“I think I’m older than Nash by a couple days, but they had to go through it. Everyone goes through it, and they’ll come out on the better end of it.”