The strangest thing happened today - a NBA superstar signed with his former team's arch rival, and yet he probably will still be loved forever in his former home. Former Sun Steve Nash has reported joined the Lakers in a sign in trade deal, and somehow pulled it off in such a classy, honest way that even the most hardcore of the Suns faithful can't criticize him for it. Here is Nash's statement, courtesy of ESPN:
For the last 8 seasons I've been blessed to play for a team and a city that has embraced me and that I have come to call home. This is a tough business and the only thing constant in life is change.
After talking with (owner) Robert (Sarver) and (president of basketball operations) Lon (Babby) we've agreed that it's time for both of us to move in new directions. I approached them and asked if they would be willing to do a sign and trade deal with L.A. because it is very important to me to stay near my children and family.
They were very apprehensive and didn't want to do it. Fortunately for me, they reconsidered. They saw that they were able to get assets for their team that will make them better, assets they would not have otherwise had and it made sense for them to do a deal that helps their team get better.
I couldn't be more grateful to the organization and Robert in particular. I know how hard this was for him and that fact that he was able to help me and my family in this way ... it means a lot and says a lot about his character. I will never forget this gesture. Above and beyond.
The Phoenix Suns are an amazing organization and fans should be excited about their future. I hope the Suns win a championship some day soon for all the amazing fans and wonderful people in the organization.
Refreshing - no talk of "taking my talents to La-La Land", no hour-long ESPN TV special, no throwing coaches under the bush, no flip-flopping by the minute, no talk of "loyalty" then demanding a trade in his next breath, no accusations of blackmail. See, LeBron and Dwight - it could have been this easy.
Umh, this is all well and good, but Nash is very much on the downside of his career and the Suns have put a pretty terrible team around him. Granted, his departure and the arrival of picks will help Phoenix eventually, but he still seems to be sticking it to the Phoenix faithful by joining the Lakers.
Oh, and is Nash taking the Phoenix training staff with him?
@Perry Missner That training staff is far more important than most fans would even imagine. They kept Shaq and Grant Hill healthy, for crying out loud!
We assume Nash is on the downside of his career, but the fact is he was an All-Star last year. He's not sticking it to Phoenix by joining the Lakers - by the time the Suns will be competitive again, Nash and Kobe will be sitting on rocking chairs on their front porches!
@Jeff Fox I hope when Oden resumes his career, it is in Phoenix.
I just don't think Nash becomes super classy for jumping from a sinking ship. I am not defending The Decision, but at some point, we have to take it for what it was: a horribly thought out PR ploy. That's it. Time to move on.
On the court, I think this makes the Lakers very intriguing. Nash and Kobe could extend each other's careers, and Nash could really help Gasol and Bynum get the ball deep in the post. Why Nash may even be an upgrade on my guy Ramon Sessions.
@Perry Missner Beasley was fun to watch in college. "In college" being the key phrase in that sentence.
@Perry Missner Now if the Suns only had someone for him to pass to. Oh wait - I forgot - Marcin Gortat is their top scoring option. Never mind then!
@Jeff Fox Eric Gordon would be a major league add. He can facilitate offense in a pinch. And now the Suns have signed Michael Beasley! Four years in and I still like that guy. It's so easy to forget how dominant he was at Kansas State.
@Jeff Fox I think Phoenix is the perfect team for Marshall. He is an outstanding passer, decent shooter, and a minus defender. Marshall would probably be best served as a backup until he matures a bit, but I'd like to see Phoenix throw him into the fire and see what happens.
@Perry Missner They are chasing Dragic, apparently. And they have the rights to Aaron Brooks.
I'm not sold on Marshall as a NBA pro - apparently you are?
@Jeff Fox It's Kendall Marshall time in Phoenix. He will be a sneaky fantasy pick. The Suns don't have anyone else at the point, do they?
@Perry Missner Ya, now's the time to unload Bynum with his stock so high. He can't stay healthy and has proven to be an unreliable headcase.
@Perry Missner I'd rather him stay in Phoenix, but Toronto would have been my second choice.
@Jeff Fox Were you hoping that Nash would come to Toronto? I could understand that, although the Lakers offer the best chance of getting deep in the playoffs. Maybe even better than the Knicks, although Nash, Carmelo, and Amare would have been interesting too.
@Jeff Fox The Lakers didn't need a top point guard when they employed the Triangle. Their last best point guard was Magic... not too shabby.
Since they are in virtual win now mode, I'd put Bynum on the table for Howard. After playing 60 games last year, Bynum's value will never be higher. How likely is it that he stays healthy again? (Unless, of course, Nash is bringing the Suns' training staff with him).
@Perry Missner And full disclosure: I've been a Suns fan since 1988 and am Canadian, so I have mixed feelings seeing Captain Canada leave the Valley.
@Perry Missner This is one of those "mutual breakups" - Nash on the Suns didn't make sense for either party. The team was practically begging him to request a trade last season (without coming right out and saying that) but he didn't.
But, ya, the Lakers are real interesting now. They haven't had a real, above average point guard for as far back as I can remember.