I heard someone once say there comes a day when they tell us all that we can't play anymore. We're not good enough. Surplus to requirements. Too slow, maybe. When you're a teenager with outsized dreams and a growing obsession, and someone tells you this ain't gonna last forever, it's scary. I never forgot it.
Mike D'Antoni changed the game of basketball. There's not many people you can say that about. No wonder I had my best years playing for him. His intelligence guided him to never over-coach, complicate or hide behind the game's traditions. He deserves a championship.
When I dribbled by our bench as a rookie on the Suns, Danny Ainge would say, "Take him!" with intensity and contempt in his voice. That was a huge vote of confidence for a rookie.
Alvin Gentry coached the heck out of our teams. Underrated and sharp, he found the elusive line between coach, friend and disciplinarian. It was a pleasure to play for him.
What do they say about men with big hands? They have quick feet? A'mare Stoudemire had both — and he made me look like an artist at times. Thanks, big man.
It will always hurt that Phoenix Suns fans didn't get the championship they deserved during our run. Yes, we had some bad luck but I always look back at it and think, I could've made one more shot, or not forced a turnover, or made a better pass. But I don't regret anything. The arena was always sold out and rocking. It was the time of my life.
Read the whole article, written by Steve, at the link above.
And here's a statement from the Phoenix Suns, who really really need to put Steve Nash into the Ring of Honor like tomorrow. Dallas will be in town, so it would be perfect for the Suns to honor him when SOMEONE he's played with is on the court.
The Phoenix Suns congratulate two-time MVP Steve Nash on an incredibly successful NBA career. During his time in Phoenix, Steve epitomized what it means to be a winner. His leadership, work ethic and commitment to excellence set an example for those around him. Steve's success on the court was matched by his philanthropic efforts off of it, which have left a lasting impact on our great fans and city. Congratulations, Steve. We are proud to call you a Phoenix Sun!
I re-ignited my love of basketball when Steve Nash came to the Suns to drive the hyper-athletic car that had been built just prior to his arrival. Amare (no apostrophe) Stoudemire was just a kid. Shawn Marion was already approaching annual 20/10s as a 6'7" dynamo. Joe Johnson had untapped potential. There were a lot of kids on that 29-53 team in 2003-04 but my fandom was growing again anyway.
Then Steve came home and the Suns began the season on a huge roll that no one in the NBA saw coming. Their 31-4 start was Sun-believable!
Then Joe Johnson wanted to be the man and Amare Stoudemire lost his leg for a while, and STILL Nash led the Suns to the playoffs and the Conference Finals. Only Raja Bell's torn achilles in game 1 against Dallas put the nail in the coffin of the season.
Those were my favorite seasons. Not 2007. Not 2010. My faves were 2005 and 2006.
We will miss you, Steve.
And I for one am REALLY glad you didn't reach new heights in LA, and that your pinnacle as an NBA player was in a Phoenix Suns uniform.
Thank you. For everything.