I must admit that I cannot be objective when it comes to two topics: Steve Nash and the Lakers. I love Nash. I despise the Lakers. So when I combine the two subjects, it pains me to see Nash’s career approaching its end with him on the bench in street clothes, yet I become almost giddy when I consider the near $10 million dollar cap hit to the Lakers have with Nash on their roster. The exuberance is increased knowing that they also committed to an inflated end-of-career contract with Kobe who has been wearing his superman cape for far less frequently.
Steve Nash is not now and never will be a Los Angelino, but he will always be both a Canadian and a Phoenician. This was true soon after he was drafted by the Suns, remained true even when he came to town wearing a Mavs uniform, and was solidified when he returned to the Suns to build his Hall of Fame numbers. So it is fair that no one around here would root for him to make a mark while playing for the Lakers.
But once I get past the nonsense of team rivalries, I remember #13, the man who is iconic for team basketball. The best compliment that can be paid to any team athlete is that he makes his teammates better. Few have ever done that to Nash’s level. Yet this season, he has had to endure the rumors that the only reason he has not yet retired is because of the $9+ million he is owed this season and the near $10 million that is guaranteed to him for the 2014-15 season.
That is NOT Steve Nash, and we all know it. He will outwork everyone if he feels that there is an ounce of basketball left within him. If there is any question, however, I suggest that you watch a documentary that can be viewed on Grantland.com. Writer Bill Simmons teamed up with Nash on a story that is entitled “Approaching The Finish Line.” Part one (a 9 minute video) can be viewed on their website along with an endearing story that summarizes the contact between Bill Simmons and Nash. I watched it and it left me continuing to root FOR Steve Nash, no matter the uniform he may wear.
Willie Mays ended his career as a New York Met, but he will always be the Giant among Giants. Joe Montana ended his career in Kansas City, but he will always be as much a part of the Bay Area as is the Golden Gate Bridge. And like the greats before him, Steve Nash will always be the favorite son of the Valley of the Sun.