Brooklyn Nets Steve Nash
(via YES Network on YouTube)

The Brooklyn Nets are looking to win a championship in year one with Steve Nash at the helm, although it’s not “championship or bust.”

Make no mistake about it, the Brooklyn Nets have championship aspirations for the 2020-21 season. Although head coach Steve Nash stopped short of calling it a “championship or bust” season in a Nets Town Hall on YES Network, he made it clear that the ultimate goal is to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Brooklyn.

“We are playing for a championship and we’re going to build accordingly,” Nash stated. “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 and 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?'”

This is exactly the type of measured, yet confident response that Nets fans want to hear from the first-time head coach. Winning a championship is never easy in the NBA, but the Nets have the pieces in place to make a run next year and beyond.

“I will say that defense is our No. 1 priority. Protecting the paint and guarding the basket is going to be the bedrock of our defense,” Nash told Eagle. “Without sharing all the principles we’re building and all the things we’re designing, I can just assure you that we realize to win a championship we’ve got to be a very strong defensive team.”

Nash also mentions “variation” which leads us to believe that the Nets are going to be willing to switch up defensive strategies often. This is something that every team in the NBA needs to do, but Brooklyn will be equipped to do so given the experience on the roster.

When young teams try to mix and match coverages, it can lead to inconsistency. When experienced teams with a strong defensive core do it, this can lead to success. Obviously, the Nets need to draft or sign a couple more defensive stoppers to fill out the roster, but they have the base of their defense in place with DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen as the rim protectors.

Over the course of the interview between Nash and Ian Eagle, the head coach didn’t give away too much. He spoke about tailoring his system to his personnel and fostering a “collaborative” environment.

The word “collaborative” is something we can expect to hear a lot in Brooklyn over the next few years. One common criticism of the Nets is that they are allowing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to be the main decision-makers.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.