Sunday 03rd March 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Who Isn’t Freeing Steve Nash?

Quotes from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made the daily cycle yesterday when, before Dallas’s victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night, the Cubes confessed he let Steve Nash walk back in 2004 because he didn’t think there’d be much of a chance the since two-time NBA MVP would still be using the hardwood as his canvas all these years later.

You can find the comments all over the place by now, but clearly, this was a huge mistake (With the benefit of hindsight, it has the feel of an old spy movie, where the villain leaves the prison cell with one inept guard and leaves our fearless hero for dead, only to be TOTALLY SHOCKED to see that he’s later escaped and thwarted those thoughtful plans for world domination. Anyway.). While common logic — and, more importantly, medical logic from medical folks — pointed to an already oft-injured point guard not being able to hold up physically into his mid-and-late thirties, Nash has and continues to prove his dedication to playing the best point guard that he can, regardless of his surroundings; he leads the league is assists per game this season at 10.1 a game heading into Tuesday.

Thing is, while Cuban’s comments offer a trip down memory lane with those ridiculously entertaining Dallas Mavericks teams of Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Nick Van Exel, and Wang ZhiZhi, to name a few, they should also remind us that, hey, Steve Nash is still here, somehow, and that while that’s standalone amazing, wouldn’t it be nice to see him playing for a team with a chance to be competing in the spring, rather than, say, losing at home to the Toronto Raptors?

Nash will likely never a demand a trade out of Phoenix; he’s one of the most loyal and team-first guys in the Association. Whomever his teammates happen to be, that’s who he’s riding with, for better or worse. It’s not something one can exactly be upset with him for, just as it’s understandable for the Suns’ front office to be hesitant in trying to trade the only reason people still tune in/buy tickets to see this team, especially if, other than outsiders and Twitter movements, no real fuss has been made by Nash himself. The plot also thickens when one considers what Phoenix could receive that they’d feel to be at least equal in value to everything an aging Nash has brought to the table. So yeah, it’s a sticky situation, and really, it’s unclear if a viable scenario could arise without talks beginning in the first place.

It’d be great, though, for the NBA, if something were done. If the league can orchestrate the pairing of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, can’t strings be pulled from behind the curtain to bring Nash to a rightful place of relevance — or, you know, through some course a little less sleazy? Apologies to Suns fans, with whom Nash’s glory years will always be most connected, but his years running the Seven Seconds or Less Suns blanketed the entire NBA landscape during the height of their powers. It’s probably one of the least debated debates going: Who would be opposed to seeing Nash back on the national scene?

Not every player gets to go out in a blaze of glory, or even, sometimes, a blaze of any kind. Steve Nash has always been different, though, the exception to normal trains of thought. If anyone should go down with a full arsenal at his disposal, towards a real opportunity, it’s him.

Griffin Gotta contributes to The Hoop Doctors and is a co-managing editor of Straight Outta Vancouver. The story arcs and infinite weirdness of the NBA are addictions he deals with every day. Email him at griffingotta dot gmail dot com.

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