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Steve Nash talks how he deals with ‘noise’ and value of ‘connection’ as a coach

Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

In her interview last week, Lane Florsheim of the Wall Street Journal asked Steve Nash about his caffeine intake. The Nets head coach said that he has “one to three cups of coffee a day.” No indication whether Florsheim asked about his alcohol intake which if it has increased recently would be justified.

The interview took place before the Nets lost their fourth straight game ... and before Kyrie Irving endorsed antisemitic material. Nash did talk about controversy in general and how he deals with “media attention” and “noise.”

“That stuff for me is fairly normal. It becomes second nature in a way. A lot of that stuff I just totally tune out. I don’t even know what’s going on. I don’t follow the media when it comes to my work. I focus on my work, and I was the same as a player. It doesn’t really interest me to follow what’s going on out there.”

Still, Nash did get a chance to layout his strategies as a coach.

“You can talk X’s and O’s, you can talk about culture, you can talk about training methods, but the No. 1 thing is to connect with the person and give them all the things human beings want—hope, support, challenges,” Nash, 48, said.

“A great piece of advice I got my rookie year in the NBA—it really made more and more sense to me as I got older—someone told me, “If you want to make it in this league, be able to laugh at yourself.” I think it’s important to have the approach that you don’t have to be so sensitive or precious or be perfect all the time. You can recognize there are certain things that are really important in life and the rest of it, it’s going to be fine. Not taking yourself too seriously allows you to relate to people better, allows you to handle defeat or failures quicker.”

Nash spoke as well about differences between being part of a team and its coach.

“As a player, you’re with your teammates all the time. So you have a lot more opportunity to lead in that respect,” said Nash. “As a coach, you aren’t with the players as much as you think. They’re busy doing their stuff to get prepared to practice or play. You have much less time to make that impact, so I think you have to be incredibly organized; you have to have a clear and simple message. When you complicate things, that’s when things get really difficult.”