From the Cheap Seats
Phoenix Suns – Nash Era Comes to an End
The July 4th celebration came to an abrupt halt for many Phoenix Suns fans with the announcement that the Suns had traded Steve Nash, to of all teams, the Los Angeles Lakers. I thought there was a lot of fireworks going off around the valley for Independence Day celebration, that all paled in comparison to the fireworks on the sports talk radio programs and sports media sites.
As free agency continued in the NBA, Phoenix fans had pretty much come to grips with the fact that Steve Nash was going to be leaving the Phoenix Suns. Early in the day on July 4th, Steve Nash said publicly that he okayed the deal that could send him to the Los Angeles Lakers. There wasn’t too much longer that the deal was made and Nash was gone, gone to the archrival of the Suns. This deal got everybody talking and there was a clear line drawn in the sand on how people felt about this deal. Even career long fans of Nash have renounced their support of him for going to the Lakers. It’s been a very heated issue and even Lakers fans have a hard time with the Nash acquisition.
So as usual I’m going to give you my perspective from the cheap seats. First of all, I am one fan that is happy that Steve Nash is gone. I have been a firm believer that his run with the Suns has been over and this team needed to move in a new direction. This new direction could not happen if Steve Nash were anywhere on the bench. Even if the Suns were to bring in a big-name point guard to take over for Nash when he retires, this would still be Steve Nash’s team. Quite honestly, I’m done and have been done with the Nash era. I enjoyed Steve’s time here in the valley, he played his heart out and gave everything he had, but unfortunately for all of us he came up short.
The Nash era was known for the run and gun, but was more importantly was known as one the worst defensive teams in the NBA. As Nash aged, his defensive skills diminished even further and point guards all throughout the league were running past him. At times during this last season, the offensive set for the opposing teams were nothing more than a layup drill.
The Suns needed to move in a new direction and it was clear that other teams that were interested in Steve Nash were not willing to part with good players to get him. Now this next statement may make some Suns fans angry but here goes. I’m actually glad that Nash went to the Lakers and here are my reasons. First of all, we picked up four draft picks, two first-round picks and two second-round picks spread out over the 2015 season. The picks included the first and second round pick in the 2013 draft, a first-round pick in 2014 draft and a second round pick in the 2015 draft. Add that to the first and second round picks the Suns have coming of their own and the Suns will be able to pick up several good young players through the draft that can have an immediate impact on the Suns future. With the contracts that the Suns have in place for the 2012-2013 season, they are very gridlocked and limited to what they’re able to do. It would have been even worse if we had kept Steve Nash and have to pay him the money he was looking to get because that would leave us next to no money with the salary cap to acquire any new players. All that means is that we stood a chance of being an average team and missing the playoffs again.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I hate the Lakers, there is absolutely nothing about that team I like and I would pull for the Al Qaeda All-Stars over the Lakers. But here’s the cool part, with Nash to Los Angeles the chances are good Nash will play there about two years. You add that to the fact that Los Angeles will not have any draft picks during that time and that adds up to a Laker team that is aging, their big names retiring and I predict the Lakers plummet to the bottom of the Pacific division. Meanwhile the Phoenix Suns and their draft picks will have the chance to gel as a team and create a new identity and a new direction. This is a good thing. The Oklahoma City Thunder is a good example of how a bad team can take a few draft picks and turn it into one of the top teams in the NBA in just a few years. I know there are a lot of factors involved like the Suns management drafting good players and all we can do is hope for the best. But over the next two seasons, high paid bench players will be gone to expired contracts and I seriously doubt if the Phoenix Suns will re-sign them.
So in essence, Steve Nash going to the Lakers could be the best thing that ever happened to the Phoenix Suns. I can’t say that I fault Nash for choosing to go to the Lakers because he had given his all for the Phoenix Suns in his window is closing to attain a championship. Nash did go on record saying that his decision was best for his family so that he could stay close to his children. I can’t fault the man for that I would’ve done the same thing if in his shoes. My kids and grandkids mean more to me than any sort of affiliation with a sports team, so I do applaud the Suns ownership for accommodating Steve in that request. I realize that it isn’t a very popular thing to do but the Suns-Lakers rivalry does not equal maintaining a close relationship with his children.
So Steve, if you should happen to be reading this article I say thank you for everything you did for Phoenix but I hope you don’t win a championship for the simple reason you’re with the Lakers. But that could tweak as well if the Lakers should be playing the Miami Heat in the championship because I can’t stand them either.
The Suns continue to be active in signing players during this free agency. I will touch on that with my next article on YOUR Phoenix Suns.
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