Steve Nash did not run the Brooklyn Nets again, now Monday, due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.
Assistant coach Jack Vaughn replaced Nash, who was ruled out before the game against the Toronto Raptors.
Nash held his regular pre-game press conference, noting that he had no further discussions with nets guard Keri Irving about getting a COVID shot.
Irving is banned from playing home games due to New York City’s mandate that professional athletes be vaccinated.
The Covid outbreak between the two teams in December necessitated the rescheduling of three matches.
On the other hand, Nash confirmed before Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks that Ben Simmons is about to debut with the Nets but has a “minor illness” in his back.
“It is not an injury,” he added. “One of those inconveniences going back to work, his back protested a bit. It’s not long lasting.”
The Nets acquired the 6-foot-10 shooter/striker with Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two future first-round picks in a deal on February 10 in which James Harden, 10 was called up to the All-Star Game, and Paul Millsap, to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Simmons, a three-time All-Star pick and first overall in the 2016 draft, hasn’t played since losing 76 players to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. Simmons had requested a transfer to another club.
“He hasn’t played since June,” Nash said. “I think it’s just part of that process to get back to work. As your movements intensify, you’re somewhat prone to certain things, like muscle pain or muscle stiffness.”
Simmons had said he hoped to return to court during the Nets’ visit to Philadelphia on March 10.
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