Top Stories

Steve Nash misses Raptors-Nets after entering Health & Safety protocols

Assistant coach Jacque Vaughn assumed head coaching duties in Nash's absence.

Brooklyn’s complicated season suffered another small bump on Monday when coach Steve Nash was ruled out after entering the league’s Health & Safety Protocols. The Nets announced the news shortly before the team took to its home floor against the Toronto Raptors.

Nash held his usual pregame press conference, saying he hadn’t had any further conversations with Nets guard Kyrie Irving about being vaccinated. Irving is ineligible to play in home games because of New York City’s mandate that professional athletes be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Nets had an outbreak within the team in December, forcing three games to be rescheduled.

Now in his second season as an NBA head coach, both with Brooklyn, Nash is hoping to steer the Nets back to contention after injuries, trades and local vaccine mandates have made it all but impossible for him to field a consistent rotation. Kevin Durant (knee) and newly acquired Ben Simmons (conditioning) remain out of the lineup, as does Irving for home games.

Brooklyn (32-29) entered the night in eighth place, a full three games behind sixth-place Boston for the last guaranteed playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Nets came within one win of the conference finals last season before losing to eventual champion Milwaukee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.