The February 24th NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and with the Phoenix Suns continuing to hover around the .500 mark, it is destined for the Steve Nash trade rumors to begin.
Nash came to the Phoenix Suns just before the 2004-2005 season. The year prior to Nash’s arrival the Suns finished with a 29-53 record, placing them last in their division and thirteenth in the Western Conference.
Nash’s arrival paid immediate dividends, as he led the Suns to a 62-20 record, the best in the Western Conference. He averaged 15.5 points a game along with 11.5 assists and won the NBA MVP, a deserving award considering the 33 game improvement from the season before. From there on Nash took control of this franchise and won the hearts of basketball fans locally and nationally. The next season Nash once again won the MVP and never looked back.
Steve Nash ran coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense to perfection. He flawlessly ran the screen and roll and at the same time put up shooting percentages that any guard in NBA history would envy. He has the uncommon ability and vision to create opportunities for his teammates that are barely visible to the average eye.
This is Nash’s seventh season with the Phoenix Suns and despite never getting to the NBA Finals, he can still be labeled as one of the most successful point guards in NBA history. But being 37 years old, the Suns fans recognize that Nash’s years are numbered, even though you wouldn’t be able to tell by his statistics and play, as he still runs the floor and offense like a 25 year old.
It would be easy to keep writing about the long list of accomplishments Nash has achieved over his career, but that is not up for debate.
The 37-year-old star point guard has always been a class act throughout his career. He has never once failed to give his all and is known for making the most of his situations, leading teams to overachieving results on a consistent basis.
Nash hasn’t even let a complaint slip despite having a contending team basically blown up before his eyes. Back in the middle of the 2007-2008 season, newly appointed General Manager Steve Kerr dealt for Shaquille O’Neal ignoring the fact he clearly didn’t fit in the Suns’ system, while trading away the valuable Shawn Marion. And even as recent as this past offseason when the Suns let Amare Stoudemire leave via free agency despite taking the eventual NBA Champion LA Lakers down to the wire in last season’s Western Conference Finals.
But the Suns’ fans see and appreciate all that Nash has done for their franchise, and they have made it pretty well known that the point guard has their support to go elsewhere and finish his career with a well deserved Championship opportunity. Despite their wishes hoping he can achieve this great feat with the Suns, it is pretty obvious that the Suns don’t have the team around him for Nash to accomplish this ultimate goal.
The next question left to be answered would be a logical destination be for the future Hall of Famer to land. The New York Knicks would be an ideal landing spot, where Nash could reunite with coach D’Antoni and Amare Stoudemire, but still even that seems unlikely. Other possible destinations that have been mentioned are Atlanta and Portland.
Now if a Steve Nash trade were to go down it would only be a matter of time until people bring up the idiotic comparison to the LeBron James and Cleveland fiasco. Some will say that the white Nash is getting support in his departure, while the black James was overly criticized for his own. Even though the two situations have zero relation it won’t matter to the oblivious.
LeBron is seen as an Alpha Dog and someone basketball followers had high hopes to one-day call the best basketball player ever, as funny as that may sound. Nash on the other hand is one of the best point guards in NBA history, who uses his game to set up and create his teammates with the easiest possible opportunity to score.
James was in his prime at the time of his move, while Nash, despite still playing at a very high productive level, is in the final years of his career.
LeBron was the so-called “Local Boy”, who saw himself as the “King”, and who promised a Title to the city before quitting on his team and ditching them through “The Decision”. Nash on the other hand has stuck it out through thick and thin in Phoenix.
Back to reality though. It is difficult to see the rumors leading to an actual Nash trade in the next ten days. Despite the lack of talent around Nash it wouldn’t shock anybody if the resourceful point guard stayed in Phoenix and once again somehow dragged his squad into the playoffs.
The Suns currently are only three and a half games out of the six seed with the teams above them being a possible Melo-less Denver, a Sloan-less Utah, Portland, and Memphis. This would be no impossible feat for Nash and the Suns to overcome, but at the same time hey have failed to operate on a real consistent basis around Nash internally this season and even if they did make the postseason it would be hard to envision any type of magical playoff run like last season with the current roster in place.
One thing is for certain though, and that is the fact that Steve Nash will continue to battle and give his all for the Suns or any future team he plays for, as he will forever be remembered as an all time great. An NBA Title would just put the cherry on top for this team player, a well-deserved cherry to a tremendous NBA career.