Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is going to try out for Inter Milan, and that is a good thing for the Guinness International Champions Cup.
As The Associated Press reports, with its information coming from tournament officials, Nash will try out in New Jersey as Inter Milan prepares for its first game of the tournament against Chelsea in Indianapolis.
Yes, this tryout is a gimmick and not a legitimate search and attempt to bolster Inter Milan. However, it's not a gimmick on the lines of this:
The Canadian-born Nash is a soccer fanatic. He grew up with the game. John, Steve's father, played professional soccer in South Africa and England, and Nash loved playing the sport. He still loves to play and watch.
Nash is part of the ownership group for the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer. He also hosts a summer soccer series that features not only notable basketball players but also big names from the European soccer world.
But let's be clear, Nash is not really good enough to earn a tryout based on talent. Shoot, at 39 and coming off a disappointing, injury-riddled season, Nash is hanging on by a fingernail in the sport he's dominated as a professional.
The Lakers point guard averaged just 12.7 points and 6.7 assists per game while being able to play in only 50 games last season. And that isn't even mentioning his defense, or more appropriately, lack thereof.
Still, I maintain this tryout is a wonderful idea for this event.
The Guinness International Champions Cup will be played in U.S. cities from July 31 through Aug. 7. It is a bracket-style tournament. Along with Inter Milan and Chelsea, AC Milan, Everton, Juventus, LA Galaxy, Real Madrid and Valencia will be participating.
For the European clubs, this is simply an opportunity to make a little money and tune up for the upcoming season. There is meaning to the games, as managers try to gauge the performances of players vying to make the roster, but I feel safe in saying that a celebrity tryout is not going to throw off intense preparations for this event.
Also, winning is always preferable to losing, but I'm sure these teams would much prefer to leave healthy than as champions.
This is the inaugural effort for this ambitious event, and any extra press or buzz it can generate the better. Steve Nash remains a popular figure in America, and his participation will earn interest from fans the event could not have otherwise anticipated.
That is most definitely a good thing for this tournament.
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