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Steve Nash is too oldschool to force the trade

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by _RTM_, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. _RTM_

    _RTM_ Member

    Nov 30, 2009
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    DALLAS -- Steve Nash sits at his locker with an ice pack on his right knee, another on his lower back and a sheepish smile on his face, having just told the laugh-at-yourself story about the new protective pad he's been forced to wear under his jersey to protect bruised left ribs.

    "It's like half a bra," Nash says. "C cup."

    Then he does one of those Nashian pivots that he usually busts out to make space in the lane and starts jabbing at the one doing the asking, anticipating what's coming before the conversation goes any farther, his feel and vision undented even with birthday No. 38 just a month away.

    "Lemme guess what you want to talk about."

    Nash knows. He knows because he's been getting the question -- questions, really -- for more than a season now. He hears it not just from media pests but from fans, too. Suns fans, even. The desert dwellers obviously don't want to see their prodigal point guard leave, but they don't want to see the NBA's all-time leader in playoff games without reaching the NBA Finals suffer any more, either.

    Isn't it time to finally ask for a trade? Don't you want one more shot at a ring before you retire? How much more of this can you take?

    "What does that mean?" Nash asks back. "Do I go in and say, 'Trade me to a top two or three team?' I think it's lot more difficult than people think.

    "One, it's not my style. Maybe I'm old school, but I feel like that's not my place to give up on my team, give up on my teammates. I signed a contract and made a commitment.

    "And two, I don't feel it's like choosing a restaurant. It's got to be a situation that works for two teams. And I don't know how simple that is. But before we even get to that part of it, I just feel that I owe it to my teammates to stay committed to them. I feel that I owe it to the fans and the organization to fight."

    So the cycle continues in Phoenix. Nash is adamant: He will not go to his bosses and ask to be traded. The Suns likewise haven't budged: They insist they will not trade Nash unless he comes to them and says he can't bear another day detached from relevance. The trading deadline isn't until March 15 in this shortened and late-starting season, so there's lots of time for positions to change and QB-hungry suitors to make their pitches, but the present course will find Phoenix playing out the next 60 games and then trying to persuade Nash to re-sign come July 1 ... or risk losing him without compensation.

    On this scorecard, if you exclude the restricted free agent studs like Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook whose teams are sure to match any offers they get, Nash surely ranks as the No. 3 free agent-to-be in the 2012 class, behind only Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, no matter what his birth certificate says. Yet Nash, who turns a year older on Feb. 7, eventually cuts short any discussion about the future, having pledged to the Suns that he'll try as hard as he can to prevent the uncertainty about how much longer he'll be a Sun from becoming a daily distraction.

    "Particularly with this condensed season, all the energy I have is to try to prepare to play," Nash said. "I'm still rusty. It was a long layoff with really no basketball for me. It takes a lot of energy and effort every day to prepare to play. So I really don't have time to think about the future. I gotta try to get back to midseason form."

    Said Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby: "We have a pretty definitive plan, which is to stay as competitive as we can with the leadership of Steve and Grant [Hill] and try to begin to put the pieces in place to look towards the future and maintain flexibility in 2012 and beyond. Those are the elements of what we're doing.

    "We're trying to brick by brick put a team together that will compete at the highest levels and create a little bit more balance than we've had here offensively and defensively and try to do what's difficult to do: build for the future but at the same time maintain a level of competitiveness. It's a tough task, but we'll see if we can pull it off."

    The obvious problem is that July -- when the Suns come into their first significant cap room since swiping Nash back from the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2004 -- feels years away because of where they are now in the West's pecking order. As one scout said Wednesday after watching Nash rack up 12 assists to go with 15 points in the Suns' eighth straight loss in Dallas: "How many of their other guys are legit NBA starters?"

    Hill, at 39, splits the leadership load with his little buddy and is as equally stubborn in his devotion to the Suns (and his resistance of Father Time). Marcin Gortat continues to develop and raise hope that he can solidify his standing as one of the NBA's top 10 centers. Jared Dudley remains a determined and endearing sixth man. But beyond those three? The Suns have only four holdovers from the 2009-10 team that fell two wins shy of a Cinderella trip to the NBA Finals and are borderline unrecognizable some 18 months later.

    These Suns, sacrilegious as it sounds, struggle to score, falling shy of 90 points three times in their first six games. The game-changing bench of 2010 is a memory. Suns coach Alvin Gentry and Nash have openly frothed at the idea of what Lamar Odom might have given the team as a one-year rental, because power forwards who can make plays are tailor-made to play with Nash, but sources close to the situation insist that the Lakers never made Odom available to the masses after the collapse of their Chris Paul deal, agreeing to trade the reigning Sixth Man of the Year to Dallas because that's where Odom's camp pushed for if he had to leave L.A.

    Suns owner Robert Sarver is still paying for the decision after the near-Finals trip to let Amare Stoudemire go ... and then ill-advisedly spend $80-something million on Hedo Turkoglu, Josh Childress, Hakim Warrick and a re-signed Channing Frye in a doomed attempt to replace Nash's longtime pick-and-roll partner. Sarver has resolved to take a lower profile and let Babby do the bulk of the talking now, which he lived up to Wednesday night by declining to be interviewed for the first time I can remember, but it's going to take more than measured words for Phoenix to recover from that plan.

    According to one theory circulating in GM circles, Phoenix favors keeping Nash for the entire season at least partly because it knows it can't possibly get multiple difference-making assets for him now, having held onto the league's fifth-oldest player for so long instead of moving him sooner. And if Nash elects to walk away in July, deciding it's finally time to put himself first after resisting any urges to force his way out like we expect NBA stars to do when rings are out of reach, Sarver will be able to say that he tried his hardest to hang onto No. 13 and just couldn't stop him.

    "He's going into the Hall of Fame in a Suns jersey and I think he's earned that," Babby said, rejecting any premise which contradicts the notion that keeping Nash is Phoenix's Plan A, B, C, etc.

    "And it's not just that he's earned it, it's what we want as an organization. Maybe people say you should do this or do that, but we disagree. I think treating a player of his stature in this way is projecting the right values. As long as he wants to be a Phoenix Sun, he'll be a Phoenix Sun.

    "This is what I told him as soon as we got back to work," Babby continued. "What I told him is there's Isiah Thomas, there's Magic Johnson, there's John Stockton. Those are three of the greatest point guards who ever played and all of them essentially played with one team. We know there's a little glitch in his background where [Nash] didn't play here, but fundamentally everybody views him -- and we certainly view him -- as a Phoenix Sun. And that's what I want for him. That's what our organization wants for him. So what I told him is as long as he wants to be here and believes in what we're doing and is all in with what we're doing, we want him to stay. That's the commitment I made to him and I think we're on the same page."

    Said Hill: "We're all hoping he'll stay and retire a Sun. It wouldn't look right if he's in a different uniform. But as I say that I know it's a business. And that means anything can happen."

    Critics have struggled to comprehend how Nash can settle for the comfort and continuity of desert life instead of chasing that elusive title, but Hill's presence is one of those factors that helps Nash stay at peace no matter where the Suns are in the standings. They're as close as Nash and Dirk Nowitzki were in Dallas, which helps explain why Hill returned to the Suns on a one-year, $6.5 million contract last month despite interest from a handful of contenders.

    The same holds for a Suns training staff that has nursed Nash through countless ailments in this second Suns run, headed by head athletic trainer Aaron Nelson and strength and conditioning coach Mike Elliott. It's no coincidence that Stein Line HQ favorite Michael Redd, having seen the sort of care Nash and Hill get, chose Phoenix as the launching pad for his comeback from three straight seasons interrupted by knee troubles.

    Those are the central figures in Nash's basketball family. Phoenix, of course, is also where he shares custody of his three children after getting divorced last season.

    It likewise helps that Nash has the unique ability to tune out external chatter about his résumé, legacy, defensive deficiencies and any other advice from the masses. He too, like Hill, finds it difficult to prognosticate.

    All he can promise at this point is that he wants "to keep playing for two or three more years for sure." Not because he's burning to make it to his 40th birthday as an active player, like Stockton did, but because "if I can still compete with the best I want to do so."

    "I don't know what the organization's plans will be," Nash said of the next two months, "if they'll have a change of heart. We've talked about it. At this point they want me to stay for as long as I want. And I'd like to stay. But you just never know. This is a business that changes every day. They could change their philosophy and I understand that.

    "To be honest, I really don't think about [the future] much. It doesn't enter my mind a lot. I'm trying to get this team better. I'm not going to be at my best for a while, but I think that's a realistic outlook. I think even guys who played a ton of basketball [over the summer] are still finding their rhythm. I'm actually surprised that I am where I am considering it was such a long layoff from the game.

    "I did the best I could without playing much basketball [during the lockout] and I think it put me in a really good position to find my game. If we continue to struggle, that's not the type of thing that I handle easily, but I can't predict what that would do to the situation from my perspective or the front office's perspective. I expect a lot of myself, so sometimes I get pissed [off] and frustrated, but the truth is I'm way ahead of probably where I should be considering the layoff. I think I'll be right back to where I've always been fairly soon, and I feel like I can do that for a couple more years."

  2. Houston_Rockets

    May 19, 2010
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    Nash is too good of a professional athlete for this league.

    Players should be fined and suspended (2nd time) by demanding trades (to specific location is even worse). A trade is about two teams trading players that they have under contract, it doesn´t matter what the player thinks about where they go.

    Players do this BS to handicap teams, into doing what they want. They should not have that power when they are still under contract that they agreed to sign.

    I wish we had a great team ready to win to make a run at this guy, just a pleasure to watch a great player as professional as him balling every night at his age.
  3. J.R.

    J.R. Member

    Jun 30, 2008
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    Steve Nash is a true professional and I hope he retires a _____.

    People talk about guys deserving rings, well this guy deserves a ring! Win a ring for the Canadian King! :p :)
    #3 J.R., Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  4. TheChosenOne

    TheChosenOne Contributing Member

    Jul 15, 2010
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    Class-act. Fully agree with that mentality. That's the way players SHOULD think instead of this selfish and childish ****.
  5. Jontro

    Jontro Member

    Feb 3, 2010
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    It is up to his teammates to force a trade for Nash.
  6. SPF35

    SPF35 Member

    Oct 2, 2011
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    Damn, in the day of the wusses like Lebron and Dwight changing the lancscape thinking they 'taking charge' you gotta respect people like Nash and be grateful somewhat for the Durant and Rose's. Even MJ demanded help, but most of these guys weren't lookin g to play with stars, but a solid team and wanted to make and win with the franchise and city that theyare with, almost a sense of pride that these new guys dont care about while they look for big markets and less responsibility.
    Classic handshake deal. You know even paul goes on tries to be a good guy and says he did everything he could do for new orleans and has to look out for himself. What about the fans that year in year out buy season tickets, watch the game,s buy the gear, buy their kids gear, work 9-5s and the hornets and paul were their outlet. They can't leave when they leose and when/as they did lose, they would still have voted Paul for mayor of the city they said. That loyalty to him he holds no responsibility to?

    sad to see this mentality fade
    1 person likes this.
  7. Rockets_Texans

    Dec 14, 2011
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    if steve nash wants to retire a champion then he should just ask for a trade just like jason kidd. the guy will no doubt be a hall of famer, but i hope his career ends with an nba ring on his finger. hope he doesnt end up being john stockton.
  8. Sleepy Flloyd

    Sleepy Flloyd Member

    Feb 25, 2010
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    If thats da way you feel about players who under contract demanding a trade, how do you feel about free agents not under contract choosing where they play?
  9. superjhou

    superjhou Member

    Jun 24, 2010
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  10. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

    Jul 28, 2006
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    Class act!
  11. Mr. Space City

    May 2, 2009
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    that's cool and all but he'll retire a ringless star that couldn't even take his team to the finals
  12. tehG l i d e

    tehG l i d e Member

    Feb 17, 2009
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    GM is selfish.
  13. opticon

    opticon Member

    Jun 11, 2006
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    Alot of Nba players from Scrubs to All-time greats have rings

    But only a few players can say they are first ballot hall of famers
    1 person likes this.
  14. AroundTheWorld

    Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2000
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    Great guy. I wish he could have gotten that ring together with Dirk, instead of Kidd.
  15. RoxSqaud

    RoxSqaud Member

    Feb 21, 2008
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  16. conquistador#11

    Jun 30, 2006
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    if anything, Nash knows his bra sizes.
  17. TheresTheDagger

    May 20, 2010
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    Nash....a throwback to when players had balls.
  18. Dreamin

    Dreamin Member

    Dec 14, 2010
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    Normally I would say thats really admirable of him but its Robert Sarver. Screw him over Nash.
  19. blackistan

    blackistan Member

    Jun 29, 2006
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    dude is a class act
  20. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
    Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2002
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    This. I am getting more and more tired of the ring-counting cliche. There are things more important in sports than championships.

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