Steve Nash Likely not Returning to Phoenix Suns Will Decide Destination Swiftly

By Dave Daniels

Marc Stein sat down with Steve Nash earlier this week and Nash doesn’t have a favorite free agent destination, but feels like it will not be the Phoenix Suns.

“I couldn’t list a favorite,” Nash said at his annual Showdown charity soccer game in the Chinatown section of Manhattan. “But I do know that for the first time I realize that it might not be Phoenix. I would have said even in the middle of (last) season or last year that I would have thought I probably would have stayed in Phoenix forever. But it’s come to a point now where I’m facing the reality that’s not (the case).”

There are a variety of factors keeping Steve Nash away from Phoenix including the Suns lack of a championship quality roster, drafting PG Kendall Marshall in the NBA Draft, and the Suns lack of determination to keep him.

“I don’t necessarily feel like it’s a home run anymore,” Nash said of re-signing with the Suns. “I don’t necessarily feel like they’re determined to keep me. I think there’s a lot of factors. So, one, I’m not sure they’re determined to keep me, (and) two, there’s other opportunities that are exciting. So I think I have to be open-minded … but at the same time be able to forecast where I’ll be most successful and happiest.”

When asked about the prospect of going home to play in Canada, Nash was realistic about the Toronto Raptor’s championship hopes, but sees the bright side as well.

“There’s positives to every situation,” Nash said. “The Raptors would be one of those teams where you’re probably not going there to win a championship in the next three years. For me it’d be going home to Canada, to a great city, and trying to help an organization move forward.

“I’m open to the positives of all of them. It’d be great if four or five contenders came after me and all offered me a deal, but the reality is I might not get that opportunity. So I’m going to look at every opportunity and Toronto will be one that I’ll study as well and look at the opportunity for them to grow in the next three years and what kind of impact I can have on that team. And obviously from a community standpoint, it’s a special place for me.”

The Dallas Mavericks, too, would an intriguing destination and the re-union of good friends Dirk Nowitzki and Nash would be a feel good story line.

Asked about the Mavericks, Nash said: “Everyone knows they’re going to go after Deron Williams. He’s a terrific player, a lot younger than I am, and that’d be the smart thing for them to do. But if they don’t get him, maybe I’ll be a candidate there as well. It’s a great city. It’s one that obviously I have a history with and an affinity and affection for, so it’s another opportunity different from Toronto but one that’s exciting and has some great facets to it as well.”

Nash has not been a free agent for 8 years, and is excited about what could happen. He will also probably making his decision swiftly, possibly even on the first day of free agency.

“(The) opportunity that I may be moving has definitely got me feeling the nerves, anxiety and excitement to see what happens,” said Nash, who added that he thinks he could reach his decision “in the first day or so” even as he admits “it’s crazy to decide on the next three years of your life in an afternoon or a day.”

“Just because things happen fast,” Nash continued. “People want to get it out of the way and move on. Not only myself but the teams as well. If something funny happens and I want to take my time, I’ll definitely take my time. But the way these things go, I feel, usually (they) happen quick.”

Nash is a class act and a hell of a basketball player. The two-time MVP deserves a shot at a title, so I hope that he does not end up on the Raptors; there isn’t another player I wish better circumstances or luck to than Nash. The Mavericks would give him a semi-realistic title shot and the evolution of Dirk Nowiztki’s game would make them a vicious one-two punch.

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