OAKLAND – Freshly retired from the NBA, Steve Nash will arrive at Warriors training camp next week in the official role of player development consultant.
Loosely defined, that means Nash will be much more than a brainstorming partner for reigning MVP Stephen Curry.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who recruited Nash to the job, said Friday he believes he has plenty to offer Curry but also to players throughout the roster.
“They’re very similar players,” Kerr said of Curry and Nash. “My experience around Steve is that he’s the most innovative athlete I’ve ever seen when it comes to pursuing greatness, whether it’s conditioning, basketball drills, whatever. He’s got an amazing feel for the game, an amazing mind.
“And it’s not just Steph. I think he can really help Klay in a big way. I think he can help Harrison. Steve was the most efficient player I’ve ever been around. My hope is that he can help make our guys more efficient. And I think he will.”
That’s Kerr speaking in code.
Thompson is an All-Star guard who also has a maddening tendency to drift, to lose focus. The result usually is turnovers or a couple possessions of one-on-one play.
The desire is for Nash, with his feel for the game, to help Thompson stay engaged, showing him a variety of ways to be productive when his shot is not falling.
Barnes is a talented forward with a tendency to disappear in plain sight, playing at star level one game, only to submit zeros the next. Why? No coach thus far has been able eliminate those blank spaces.
Nash, 41, might be able to help unlock that mystery.
Nash will be around the team roughly three to seven days per month. The two-time MVP retired in March, after two injury-plagued seasons with the Lakers during which he played only 15 games.
The back problems that forced him out of the NBA did not dampen his enthusiasm for the game. He worked with Lakers players and wanted to stay close to the game. Kerr recognized that and the two agreed on Nash being essentially a part-time coach.
“He jumped at it,” Kerr said, “because he loves being part of a group, loves teaching and loves our team.”