This is a pretty amazing story coming out of Steve Nash's agent Bill Duffy via the Arizona Republic.
According to Duffy, Nash is willing to entertain the idea of a two year extension with the Suns but is looking for veto power over the team's off season decisions. Oh, and he wants a raise too so when he's 37 and 38 he will be making more then the $13m he's slated to get next season.
"This is kind of a perplexing time because he (Nash) absolutely wants to win and he loves the Phoenix market but all the pieces have to line up properly," Duffy said. "We just want to wait and see what their game plan is so we can sign off on it. We respect their willingness to extend his contract but we also are very cognizant of the team dynamic to make sure it will work in terms of Steve's goals, which are to win a championship."
Basically, Steve Nash just told the Suns to go screw themselves. Or at least Bill Duffy publicly fired that shot across the bow.
I don't see how this helps Nash to have this out in the open. Would and should the Suns consult with him prior to making any big moves? Sure, of course they should just like they did when Nash signed off on the Shaq trade (but apparently not before the Porter hiring or Diaw/Bell deal which made Steve upset).
Nash deserves to play out his final years where ever he wants. If he doesn't want to be in Phoenix any more then that's fine but the Suns shouldn't allow any player to publicly hold them hostage and demand veto power over their personnel decisions. Steve is a part owner in a women's soccer club. He can make all the player decisions he wants to with that team.
To demand this kind of say in the organization's future when he will at best be in Phoenix for only 3 more years is not acceptable. To ask for an increase over his current contract in the final years of his career is not reasonable. If Nash isn't willing to accept a lessor role and an appropriate contract for his age and with his known back issues then the Suns need to consider walking away.
And by the way, since when were Steve's goals winning a championship? Here's what he said in his post season press conference:
"If we are contender that's where everyone wants to be but I think right now I would be happy just to be part of a really positive and optimistic atmosphere. Be part of team that is really on the same page, plays together, plays hard every night and makes the season exciting for one another and for the fans. You may say I am lowering my expectations but I think that's a great place to start.,,,Sometimes its difficult to start playing the band aid game and always just trying to put a band aid over a problem. For me, I would be happy to be in Phoenix on a team that has great energy and chemistry and everyone's pulling together and playing for one another. That for me would be fine and undoubtedly we would be successful with that type of atmosphere regardless of how much talent we had."
I'm guess Bill Duffy didn't hear this quote before spouting off about Nash wanting to "win a championship".
As for what Steve (Nash) is looking for Steve (Kerr) to do, here's the guidance:
"All I can say about that is maybe it's better we didn't make it and gloss over some of our deficiencies and some of the improvements we need to make. We squeeze in to the playoffs and every one says 'ah it wasn't so bad, everything's ok' whereas now we will have to take a really good look at everything individually and collectively so we put ourselves in a better position."
It is not clear exactly what specific improvements he has in mind but he did feel that with a full season under Gentry with everyone playing one way that the Suns would be a much better team. He also didn't discount the need to improve defensively adding,
"We need to add a few defenders to our mix. A couple of guys who's forte is defense. Active big guys that can take up a lot of space with their athleticism and energy. Easier said then done."
Yes, Steve Kerr and Robert Sarver have made a lot of bad decisions. Turning over the front office reigns to your point guard is not the answer. Sarver and Kerr need to decide who's team this really is.
It's time to play hard ball with Mr. Duffy and his client.