Steve Nash: Divorce Settled One Day After Wife, Alejandra Amaralla, Gives Birth
Professional athletes have made their share of boneheaded mistakes and poor decisions, but this may go down among the all-time worst.
Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash announced Saturday that he and wife Alejandra are divorcing. Not a big deal, just a normal thing in today's society right? Ah, but here's the twist: The news came just a day after Alejandra gave birth to their son Matteo.
It's something that has already stirred up plenty of reaction, and drawn a ton of criticism.
Is it deserving?
Will NBA fans view Steve Nash differently now?
Is this being reported accurately, and is there more to the story than people know?
Time to examine the facts, and consider some opinions. Here's a list of 20 things worth noting about the incident.
20. They Have Already Been Living Apart
Before sports fans become unglued, one fact must be considered.
Nash said in a statement to Life & Style magazine that he and Alejandra have been living apart for several months. The two already have twin daughters, Lola and Bella, who were born in 2004.
Nash said he wants the best for both his wife and their children.
"I want only good things for Ale going forward," he said in the statement. "Right now, I'm focused on ensuring that our children understand how much they're loved and adored by us as they continue to adjust to these changes."
19. A Bizarre Move By The Suns
The timing of the announcement is pretty bad.
But what's even more bizarre is the move the night before by the Phoenix Suns. The Associated Press reports the team announced Matteo's birth in a release on Friday, but radio and TV crews were told not to mention the divorce.
It's one thing to put an embargo on award recipients, but for something that would get out anyway within days and be all over Twitter and news sites is confusing.
18. There May Be More Nash News
Don't be surprised if Steve Nash is back in the news because of a trade.
The New York Daily News reports that Nash's name has been mentioned in terms of possible trades, but that it's just talk and not for certain. The paper also said the New York Knicks will "make an inquiry" and see if Nash may be available, but that it wouldn't happen unless Phoenix falls out of playoff contention.
A trade to New York would reunite Nash with coach Mike D'Antoni, who was his coach in Phoenix.
17. Nash Has Some Company
Steve Nash isn't the only NBA player dealing with relationship issues.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom is suing Liza Morales, the mother of his two kids. The two suffered a horrific tragedy in 2006 when their sixth-month old son Jayden died from sudden infant death syndrome. Morales said following that Odom disappeared and "checked out" as a father, according to the New York Post.
Odom is now married to reality star Khloe Kardashian.
16. Look at The Big Picture
While divorce is never easy, and certainly is a challenge when kids are involved, sometimes it's a better solution than if the kids were raised in a home where there is constant fighting between husband and wife.
15. Some May Find This More Offensive
The timing of Steve Nash's announcement certainly will draw criticism, but there are likely just as many sports fans who are irate with his political opinions.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Nash in May saying that Arizona's controversial immigration law was "very misguided."
"I think it is unfortunately to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties, and I think it is very important for us to stand up for things we believe in," said Nash, a Canadian.
14. Some Of The Reaction
The announcement has drawn all kinds of reaction around the Internet. Here's a sampling:
"Its really too bad when anybody's marriage breaks up but you'll notice its not a scandal-filled, tabloid affair like some other high profile athlete divorces. Nash has always been a class act, rings or not. Instead of getting arrested at stipper bars, Nash makes films. Instead of paying for kids out of wedlock, he runs a charitable foundation."
"Big deal. some hockey player or whatever gets a divorce. yawn."
Nash "a thug, his wife gives birth n he divorces her the next day....Damn Canadians! Smh (shaking my head)"
"I had no idea Steve Nash was married! He definitely keeps his private life private."
"It is so sad how people just throw away their marriages! I could have thrown in the town a hundred times but chose to stick it out- through GOOD TIMES AND BAD PEOPLE!"
13. The Other Shocking Nash News
This marks the second time Nash has been in the news for something shocking this month.
The website Phoenix New Times reported earlier this month that Nash was set to leave the team on Nov. 15 to pursue a career in politics back home in Canada.
The Suns had to release a statement, assuring fans it was just a hoax. Even Nash heard about the report, and joked that he wanted to be Prime Minister someday, but was hoping that wouldn't be until after his basketball career was through.
12. What's Unclear
As one writer noted on another website: No one knows the full reason why they're divorcing, and no one knows why they separated in the first place. It's easy to point the finger at Steve Nash for the timing of the announcement, but obviously problems had existed long before the weekend.
And we may never know exactly what they were.
11. Charles Was Right
He got ripped years ago when he said it on a commercial, but looking back, you have to agree that Charles Barkley was dead on.
Athletes aren't role models.
They are human, make mistakes and certainly aren't perfect. Just take Tiger Woods, the numerous baseball players who admitted to taking steroids and now the allegations surrounding Brett Favre and you'll realize the dangers of making athletes into heroic figures.
10. Another Image Issue For The NBA
If there's one thing David Stern doesn't need, it's bad publicity.
This will certainly bring some to the NBA, which has dealt with the controversy surrounding LeBron James and "The Decision," along with numerous athletes over the years and their problems with the law. Some fans have been turned off by the athletes and their behavior.
It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be with Nash's announcement. He's always been part of that group of "good guys" which has includes Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.
9. His Legacy Isn't Tarnished
Put aside the personal life, and keep in mind that Steve Nash will go down as one of the best point guards in NBA history.
He's currently averaging almost a double-double (20 points, 9.9 assists per game). He's also shooting 51 percent from the field.
For his career, Nash has an average of just under 15 points and 8.3 assists per game. Last season, for a record fourth time, he shot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line. It's a mark that's only been achieved nine times in NBA history, and by just four other players. Larry Bird did it twice.
8. Why Is It So Challenging?
Nash's divorce does bring about a simple question: Why do some professional athletes have such a difficult time with marriage?
Sure, you're always on the road, and you're faced with temptations constantly, but you make millions and you should be able to bring your family along to join you sometimes when you're away. Just like regular people, athletes aren't exempt from a simple fact when it comes to making relationships and marriages last: It takes work.
7. Another Question About Nash
Yes, they're two completely different subjects, but let's just throw them both out there for the sake of argument.
Is Nash's divorce now considered more shocking than when he Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban chose to trade him away?
6. Sports and Gossip
The good old days are long gone.
Whether you like it or not, you can't escape the news of what athletes do off the court. The sports page has now become close friends with outlets like TMZ and Entertainment Weekly. Is this serious, hard news? Of course not.
But we are a tabloid society, and there is a market for dirt and gossip. Pro athletes aren't exempt.
5. Just For Fun
We've seen Tiger's marriage fall apart, and now this.
If you had to make a small wager, is there a professional athlete out there whose marriage/relationship will last and go the distance?
Let the fun begin.
Three quick ones I'd throw out: Joe Montana and wife Jennifer, Howie Long and wife Diane and Phil Mickelson and wife Amy (pictured).
4. One Thing That's Lasted
While he's no longer married, what has endured is Nash's friendship with his former Dallas teammate Dirk Nowitzki.
The Canadian and the German have been interviewed before numerous times, and there have been photos of them surface from fun nights on the town. Both are laid back, and both have continued to support each other despite being on opposing teams in the Western Conference.
3. What About When They Get Older?
Luckily for Nash his kids are too young to understand what's going on, but it would be interesting to know what he says and how he explains his decision when they grow up. Kids are pretty quick to notice when things are off, but hopefully there won't be any animosity down the road.
2. Where It Ranks
Yes, Steve Nash gets an F for timing.
But it's not the worst thing that's ever happened in the NBA when it comes to athletes and their choices.
What about Latrell Sprewell (pictured) and his infamous choking incident with PJ Carlesimo? Or "The Brawl" between the Pacers and the Pistons that went into the stands?
Fans who are old enough may point to Shawn Kemp, who fathered seven children by six different women.
1. The Lesson Is
Steve Nash's announcement proves timing is everything.
Yes, you'd like to see marriages work out and improve, but nothing good will happen when you announce you're divorcing your wife the day after she gives birth.
It's a PR nightmare, and it will only cause additional scrutiny for someone who's had plenty just from his political comments alone.