In a shocking turn of events, the Los Angeles Lakers have opted to hire Mike D'Antoni as their next head coach following a weekend of negotiations with Phil Jackson.
Naturally, Lakers point guard Steve Nash is ecstatic about being reunited with his former head coach. According to a tweet by Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell, Nash was quoted as saying that D'Antoni "would be seamless and terrific for me and I think the team."
Nash enjoyed some of the best years of his career during the four years D'Antoni coached him in Phoenix, culminating in a pair of MVP awards in 2005 and 2006. During this stretch, the Suns also made two trips to the Western Conference Finals. Needless to say, the run-and-gun system was perfect for the future Hall of Fame point guard.
However, just because D'Antoni is now coaching the Lakers does not mean that Nash will suddenly revert back to MVP form. Keep in mind, he is now 38 years old and won his two MVP trophies in his early 30s. His skills are still there, but his scoring has dropped each of the past three seasons.
More importantly, when Nash and D'Antoni were in Phoenix together, Nash was the alpha dog on a young team. With teammates like Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in the fold, Nash is going to be more of a facilitator.
Don't get me wrong, Nash will surely put up better numbers now that D'Antoni's fast-paced game is in town, but it's important to note that a big part of the new coach's approach is team play. It would be foolish to think that D'Antoni won't take full advantage of the other All-Stars at his disposal.
Bryant is a five-time champion who doesn't really even need to be coached at this point, and Howard is the explosive and multi-talented center that D'Antoni always seemed to lack.
Will Steve Nash return to MVP form under D'Antoni?
As a result, while he is sure to flourish in D'Antoni's run-and-gun system, Nash isn't going to return to MVP form with the Lakers. Apart from his age, he just has too much talent around him this time and won't be relied on so heavily as he was during his days with the Phoenix Suns.
Sure, he won't be one of the most valuable guys in the league, but Nash will still put up good enough numbers that will keep him at MVP status in the Lakers' locker room.