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Los Angeles Lakers: Steve Nash Has Become Darling of Los Angeles Sports Media

Bryan Kalbrosky@@BryanKalbroskyCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11:  NBA player Steve Nash of the Los Angeles Lakers (R) presents the Best Team award to NBA player Mike Miller of the Miami Heat onstage during the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Since his trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, Steve Nash has become a favorite subject in all things L.A.

But it wasn’t always this way. Nash, who averaged 12.5 PPG and 10.2 APG last season and became an unrestricted free agent at the beginning of July, was open to whatever would end up being the best overall situation for him after his contract had expired with Phoenix.

With rumors of him running the star-studded offense of Miami feigning only to the glory of bringing a championship to the New York Knicks, the idea of Nash wearing the famed purple-and-gold often seemed far-fetched at best. Even Nash was hesitant.

"For me, it would be hard to put on a Lakers jersey. That's just the way it is,” Nash told ESPN.com on June 25. “You play against them so many times in the playoffs, and I just use them as an example, and I have the utmost respect for them and their organization."

But due to the 38-year-old point guard’s willingness to be open and accepting of new leadership roles after a choice phone call from Kobe Bryant, he found his way to Los Angeles.

His leadership abilities coincide perfectly with Bryant’s, enacting a bit of a good-cop, bad-cop routine highlighted in this article from the Los Angeles Times.

Both absolute gym rats known around the league as two of the most likely candidates to become NBA coaches upon retirement, Kobe will finally get the ball-handling point guard he’s never had and Nash will get to play with his first elite shooter.

This is a bizarre time to be Steve Nash. There’s no doubt about that in anyone’s mind. In the peak of the Mike D’Antoni Era in Phoenix, it was the Lakers who always served as the biggest rival to the team within the conference.

"It feels strange, no question," Nash told ESPN.com. "I never, never thought I'd be a Laker."

Pau Gasol also added his input with a video podcast posted to YouTube, calling Nash’s addition a “huge honor”, an elite point guard for “as long as I can remember” and “one of the most unselfish players in the NBA."

But forget everything basketball related for a couple of minutes.

"I never would have thought that the Lakers would have come into the picture,” Nash continued. “But when [the Lakers] did and I started to think about it, about how I could be close to the kids and at the same time be on a contender, it was a perfect fit."

The city of Los Angeles was always important to Steve Nash. Initially, this West Coast preference was not for the reasons one would expect.

“Being in L.A. would mean I can see the kids three or four times a month instead of three or four times a year,” said Nash. “Now, after practice or an off day, I can fly home, pick 'em up from school, take 'em to the park, feed 'em and be back home for bedtime. That's priceless to me.”

But other parts of Los Angeles have taken over in Nash as well.

Most notably, this includes his Hollywood-like drive for the motion picture. Nash, who directed Catch The Wind with Ezra Holland for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, has long been interested in film.

His feature for 30 for 30 was about a man with bone cancer whose wish of perseverance was to run across Canada in hopes of raising awareness and funds for cancer research.

While his first-time filmmaking efforts were extraordinarily well-received, the idea of working with film was not a dream that Nash had entirely given up on. Establishing #NashCameraAction and released through the NOC, Nash had decided to work on some motion picture commentary of his own. The trailer for this idea was released to YouTube on July 12.

The first line delivered in the trailer is of Steve Nash, looking at the camera straight-faced and stoic, wearing a batman mask and speaking in a deep voice.

Releasing parodies like The Bourne Legacy, in which he explains how he got to the Lakers while pretending to be Jason Bourne, and the most recent Godfather spoof, in which his comedic timing is nothing short of impeccable, demonstrate his interest in film.

Of course, a quick trip to Nash’s IMDB page reminds us that Nash was featured as himself in productions such as Like Mike (2002), Entourage (2009), The Cleveland Show (2011) and Barfly (2012).

His devotion to his art is nothing short of admirable in a city bustling with creativity and excitement.

“I’d like to play three more years and then get more involved in some of these other pursuits, most notably my production company. It is something I spend a lot of time on,” Nash explained to Forbes of his production company, Meathawk.

The company has done ads for Nike—like this beautiful video in 2009—as well as EA Sports and some for Vitamin Water and Toyota.

He’s killed it on Letterman, and made a brilliant spoof of Step Brothers while hanging out in Santa Monica, CA.

The man simply lives to be on screen. For Nash, the city has become a darling.  

As Steve Nash said at the conclusion of the now infamous video of LA fans giving him a beer on the freeway: “the fans have been pretty good so far”.

And why wouldn’t they be? He hasn’t even played a game yet and he’s done nothing but dazzle.

Nash is a perfect fit for the media frenzy of Los Angeles and falls delicately into place with a city that so desperately needed him. His compelling move to Los Angeles may even bring Dwight Howard to the city—D12 was spotted at a Dodgers game earlier this week wearing a Dodgers hat shortly after saying that he would sign an extension in Los Angeles—in a move that could make the Lakers the single team to beat in the NBA.

Nash to Los Angeles is the single most exciting thing to happen to the Lakers since the Pau Gasol trade, and is one of the most talked-about moves in Los Angeles sports in this decade.

If things keep going this well for Nash, we could be looking at his first NBA Championship...and new teammate Kobe Bryant’s sixth. But even more so, we could look at one of the most interesting athletes in Los Angeles history.

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