I’ll quote my great co-host Chris, “This is the worst day ever.”
I agree with him. the entire off-season for the Suns this year has been one surprise after the other. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened yesterday. Steve Nash has agreed to a 3 year $27 million deal with the Lakers. The sign and trade will take place on July 11th, and the Suns will get back 1st round picks in 2013 and 2015, and 2nd round picks in 2014 and 2016.
Of all the places that our two-time MVP could have gone, none could have been worse than the Lakers. This team has been the bane of Phoenix’s existence since the Suns came into the league back in 1968. Now, one of the most popular players ever to put on a Suns Jersey is on that hated team. I’ve tried to wrap my head around this for two days now. I thought about it watching fireworks on the 4th. I talked to my co-hosts all evening. I guess I can only feel like…well I don’t know.
Steve Nash gave me some of the greatest sports memories of my life. I wrote previously how much Steve Nash meant to me when it came to basketball and how he brought it back into my life. I wrote at the time that I hope that he gets his championship and that I wanted to thank him for all his years here. I still want to thank him, but I do not want him to get a championship anymore. I can’t stand it, I wanted to root for him to win, and the Lakers were really the only team he could go to that I wouldn’t root for him to win a ring. I still like the guy, but I can’t stand the Lakers, it’s an unstoppable force against an invincible wall.
I’m going to take a quick trip down memory lane. This isn’t so much for you the reader, but for me, so I can go back on that first night when I see Nash in that hideous gold jersey and remember that we did like that guy at one time, and that he was the savior of MY team for a while.
2004-05: Came in to the Suns and instantly got us off to a hot start. The guy was criticized for being not great defensively, but the Suns were the talk of the town. I am HOOKED beyond hooked back to the Suns. Wins the MVP, plays like an MVP in the playoffs. Suns lose in 5 games to the Spurs.
2005-06: Continues hot streak despite losing his pick and roll partner, Amare Stoudemire. Somehow turned a team with Shawn Marion, Tim Thomas, Raja Bell, and Boris Diaw as his starting teammates into the second seed in the west. Then participated in one of my favorite playoff series of all time, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Lakers. (yeah…THAT team) Wins another MVP, brings us to the Western Conference Finals again for the second time in 2 years. We hadn’t been to the conference finals since 1993, so there’s something.
2006-07: This was probably the best Suns team that they’ve ever had. (Yes, I’m including 1992-93. No one on that team could have guarded Amare and Marion would have given Barkley fits with his length.) They ran off winning streaks of 15 games and 17 games during the year, and even dominated the Eastern Conference Champs of that year (The Cavaliers with LeBron James) by 25 in a game in January. (Read this to get a good idea of how good they were that year) Dominated the Lakers in the first round and then lost to the Spurs in the most controversial, horrendous, poorly officiated, crooked, unfair, BULL$*@& series EVER (sorry I’m still bitter 5 years later). Nash is denied a third straight MVP because everyone is sick of hearing about him.
2007-08: Has to deal with Marion and Amare not getting along, has to deal with a fat Boris Diaw, and then has to deal with a fat Shaq coming in and missing a bazillion free throws. Then he has to deal with another loss to the Spurs, one of them being the greatest game 1 ever, in which the Suns got screwed over again by Tim Freaking Duncan somehow making a 3. Sigh
2008-09: I hated this year, Terry Porter to start the year, Shaq and no playoffs to end it, UGH.
2009-2010: My favorite Suns team of all time. Not the most talented, not the most likely to win a championship, but my favorite. I’ve never connected to a group of 12 guys that I’ve never met like I did that team. They made funny videos, they did sing alongs, and they genuinely got along. They came out of no where to land the third seed in the playoffs, and came within Jason Richardson forgetting to box out and Kobe going psycho on us of going to the finals. That team held a special place in my heart. Nash was the center of it, and really that team was the reason I respected Nash as much as I did.
2010-2011: Tough year, I had to talk myself into Josh Childress, Hedo Turkoglou and Hakeem Warrick to replace Amare. Then, I had to root for the king of awful Vince Carter for the rest of the year. Not a good time in Suns land. Yet…we still were a bounce or two away from the playoffs. That was something that you could always count on with Nash: a tough, competitive team that would be in or near the playoffs every year. The guy is a winner, pure and simple.
2011-2012: Lockout year, and a fairly unremarkable year. Nash almost did it again though, almost got us to the playoffs with a team no better than the basketball version of The Bad News Bears.
Now here we are, Nash is going to LA. Maybe the world is ending…Now I’m forced to look towards the future. The Suns have a chance for a sign and trade with Eric Gordon. We’ve already owned our baggage in having traded Goron Dragic by signing him to a four year deal. We’ve got the talented enigma that is Michael Beasley, and we drafted a pass first point guard in Kendall Marshall. In all reality, the suns have done well to turn around this roster situation fast by getting young and talented.
Steve, buddy, I’ll miss you, and I’ll fully be ready to accept you back in my life…as soon as you retire. I’m sorry, I guess when it comes right down to it, I cheer for the clothes just a bit more than I cheer for the player. How else can you explain how I cheered for Vince Carter for 5 months? Sports sucks sometimes.