Virtually every time the Suns have appeared on national TV this season, the "big question" that the commentators just "have to ask" is whether Steve Nash will be traded before March 15th's deadline. After all, what reason could there possibly be for the mediocre Phoenix Suns to hold on to Nash when he's near the end of his career and could leave as a free agent this summer? Why let him walk for nothing when they could get a couple of role players or draft picks for him? And what possible reason could there be that Nash would want to stay on the unglamorous, non-championship contending Suns?
Surely, Nash wants to go to Miami, or LA, or New York. I mean, how couldn't he? That's what players do in this day and age, isn't it? Of course, the people making decisions on Nash's immediate future, Suns President Lon Babby, owner Robert Sarver and Nash himself, have already answered this question time and time again. The Suns will only trade him if Nash requests it, Nash won't request it. Seems clear, doesn't it?
But, no. Nash needs to be "freed" because, apparently, playing for an organization he loves with teammates he respects in a city he enjoys doesn't matter. He "deserves" a chance at a title and if his career ends without a ring it will just be so, so sad.
All I can gather from this national media chatter is that a lot of people aren't paying attention. They haven't realized what motivates Nash, his approach to his career and to his life. He's not like LeBron James, or Chris Bosh or Carmelo Anthony. Nash isn't going to work the system for supposed short-term gain. That's not who he is.
They see his loyalty and dedication to keeping his word and fulfilling his commitments to his teammates and employers as quaint notions, obviously not understanding the meaning and value of loyalty at all. How cynical.
Follow the jump for more of my "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more!"
ESPN's Bill Simmons is sort of the godfather of sports bloggers, isn't he? I used to read him religiously and would even forgive his rambling, self-indulgent content about The Karate Kid and playing Blackjack with his buddies in Vegas, but I've come to believe that he's a lot of what's wrong with blogging and is the primary cause for the scourge of rosterbation we see. He's become a caricature of himself.
He was on Colin Cowherd's radio show a few weeks ago and Cowherd said to him, "you're great at predicting NBA trades...."
Yes, if by "great" you mean he makes up a bunch of silly stuff that never happens, then sure, he's great. Simmons is at it again in a trade deadline piece on his blog grantland.com.
I don't blame the Suns anymore. I blame Nash. I think he's afraid to get traded. I think he likes toiling away on mediocre teams, playing that martyr role and having everyone feel sorry for him. Poor Steve Nash! Look what the Suns did to him! We have to get Nash out of there! #freestevenash Maybe he doesn't want the pressure of playing in the playoffs anymore. Maybe he'd rather bang out meaningless regular seasons, go traveling during the playoffs and save himself two months of wear and tear. Maybe he's hiding behind this whole "leaders don't sell out their teammates by asking for a trade" thing. Maybe he's just being a coward.
(By the way, I don't believe any of this — I just wanted to use a little reverse psychology to get Nash to ask for a trade because Phoenix is obviously too cowardly to accommodate him. I'm at wit's end. Don't you want him in the playoffs?)
This is a common tactic of the "free Nash!" crowd. "We're looking out for his best interests! And, ours too!" Last night during the broadcast of the Suns/Mavs game, commentator Chris Webber put forth a false dichotomy in which Suns fans wanted Nash to stay while "Nash fans" wanted him to move on.
I suppose, to an extent, that's true. There are general basketball fans and those who appreciate Nash's game who would rather him be on the national stage on a contender instead of facing the gross indignity of dishing assists to the likes of Jared Dudley and Channing Frye. How uncivilized that poor Steve has to play with such mutts!
Yeah well, I'm looking out for my best interests as a Suns fan and a Nash fan too, and I want him to finish what he started in Phoenix. As much as Nash has done for the franchise, they've done equally right by him, handing him the keys to the team and surrounding him with talented players. Does Nash win two league MVPs on another team, coached by men other than Mike D'Antoni and Alvin Gentry? That's doubtful.
Most importantly, Nash says he wants to honor his contract and fulfill his commitment in Phoenix. What the hell is it with so-called experts who pretend they know his situation and motivations better than he does? On last night's post-game, analyst Dennis Scott called Nash "too loyal" and that the Suns "owe him" a trade. Those sound like the words of a man who isn't loyal enough, or who has no clue what loyalty is.
And what about some guy named Patrick Dorsey of ESPN and his "Steve Nash Intervention"? Nash has 9,645 career assists, he's a future Hall of Famer, an international superstar, a two-time MVP, a film maker. Guess what, "experts"? He can make decisions better than you can, especially concerning his own life. And, he's not a BS-er. If he says he doesn't want to be traded, I take him at his word.
For those who trade in idle speculation and in repeatedly asking a question which has already been unambiguously answered countless times, knock yourselves out. Keep at it until the trade deadline and then moan about the fact that Nash is "stuck" on the Suns. Just don't mind me as I stand over here shaking my head at your foolishness.