Featured Gallery, NBA / Jan 12, 2011 / 12:00 pm

Pass The Mic: It May Finally Be Time To “Free Steve Nash”

Steve Nash

Steve Nash (photo. Complex Magazine)

Words. Dave Dulberg

During a troubling time in the state’s sports scene, Arizona’s aficionados are comforted by the grace in his fadeaway jump shot, the unnatural ease by which he floats through the lane and the work ethic he puts on display hours before the US Airways Center is even near capacity. Steve Nash isn’t just a two-time MVP or a seven-time All-Star, he’s the face of not only a fading Phoenix Suns team, but of a city whose professional sports identity has withered away in recent years as iconic stars like Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson and Kurt Warner quietly walked away when their ticking clocks finally wound down.

But with Nash’s Suns falling further behind in the Western Conference standings (15-21), currently sitting in the uncomfortable position of 11th place, where does Suns owner Robert Sarver and Co. go from here? Perhaps Chris Webber was right: It may finally be time to “Free Steve Nash.”

In the sports world of political correctness, how do you handle the future of your most attractive ticket seller, your primary billboard subject and without question, your franchise savior? Do you ship him off to a situation where he deservedly has a chance to win a championship? Do you handle him with kid gloves, telling him everything will be okay? Or do you stay the course, and view the situation like any other player personnel decision; trading him only if the other party involved is willing to giveaway lucrative pieces in return?

Sarver and his new minion of puppets – President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and first-time General Manager Lance Banks – have a situation on their hands that frankly, they created this offseason.

In a move that many lauded them for, the team refused to cave in to Amar’e Stoudemire‘s demands for a five-year, $100 million dollar contract, citing past injuries (microfracture surgery and the detached retina which cost him the final 30-plus games of the 2009 season). Sarver, without the player evaluation prowess of former-GM Steve Kerr, was now forced to play the role of a fantasy sports owner and said goodbye to the once-thought-to-be future face of the franchise.

The only problem is that he had never thought to make a Plan B, C or even D.

Lots of money, plus an owner desperate to keep fans in their seats, equaled an offseason of frivolous spending and multi-year deals to likes of now-backup power forward Channing Frye, oft-used wingman Josh Childress, one-move extraordinaire (that would be dunking for those of you counting at home) Hakim Warrick and the dearly-departed Hedo Turkoglu (who looked as lost in a purple and orange uniform as Robert Horry did back in the 1996-97 season).

These are not your Colangelo-run Suns anymore that is for certain.

Pages : 1 2
Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    Great article, Dave! It will be interesting to see if the Suns make a move.

  • Jade

    GG article dude…personally I think he’s earned the right to ask for what he wants and get it !!! They owe him that much at least !!! Though the way the guy is, I think he wouldn’t want to leave Phoenix just cause of his code of honor !!!

  • K-Dawg

    “Sarver and his minion of puppets”… so true! Can we keep Nash and trade Sarver instead? He is everything that is wrong with Phoenix Suns Basketball and sports in general. This team is not one of your banks… it’s about more than the “bottom line”. At the end of the day, winning will bring the fans back, not cost cutting moves and thoughtless spending.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Lucas Shapiro

    Great read Dave. Think they should go after Melo, Gay, or Iggy?

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Good article.

    My only issue is that it’s more descriptive than prescriptive. It’s more you telling us what has happened (albeit in a pretty way) than telling us what will or what should, or even what could.

  • BarbosaSamosa

    Very insightful. Would you say Sarver is the NBA equivalent to Mike Lynn of the VIkings? I think so.

  • Pugz

    I live in Phoenix, and i think they should trade him. He deserves it.

  • vlad

    Nashty to the heat would be very nice…..

  • http://dimemag.com chicagorilla

    Very good article. I been going back n forth about Nash being traded. The number one place that he needs to go is ORL for Jameer Nelson. Nash with Howard behind him will be a better defender and they have similar systems. The problem is they already delt with ORL and made a bone head deal that only helped ORL. My other wish is that he goes to LAC, but that doesnt help him its just the most exciting trade scenario.

  • ab40

    Just retire.

  • fan

    Why should the Suns trade him? What team other then a real contender or team a piece away wants Nash?
    Any team in that position has nothing to offer the Suns. They want low draft picks and young talent? Who that really wants Nash can offer the suns that?

  • karizmatic

    How many more years does Nash have on his contract?

  • fan

    @kariz this yr and next yr

  • freez

    @11 having a former MVP on your team is great and all but it really does nobody good if you can’t even get to the playoffs. nash has some tread left on the tires, it would be nice to see him compete for a chip (and my fantasy team) might as well start the rebuilding. suns are going nowhere fast (late lotto pick is the same as no lotto pick)

  • karizmatic

    Ok if he only has two years then they should just keep him and trade him to a contender in the offseason. Shed the contract, give him a chance to play for a winner, and tank the next season. They should include Grant Hill in that trade as well.

  • Dieken

    I’ve been saying for years that the Suns need to see what they can get for Nash and start building around Dragic. Glad to see others are finally seeing this point.

  • untraceable

    So this isnt “sexy” but trade him to MN. the Wolves would have a playoff record if they had a real PG to run the team, they have enough assets to get the suns something of value, Nash can teach Rubio the fundamentals of the NBA when he comes over.

  • Mike Mihalow

    Nash should have never resigned with them.

  • fan

    @14 freez
    that is my point. Out of teams that would be interested in Nash, what would any of those teams have to offer to the Suns to help with their rebuilding process?

    @16 dicken
    as crazy as it sounds you are dead on. Nash holds Dragics potential back, alot. He is a totally different (aggressive) player on his national team. I watch all of the Suns games and alot of time you can see on Dragic’s face when he is on a roll and Gentry takes him out and puts in Nash. They need to rebuild and see what that kid can do when let loose.

  • fan

    @17 untracable
    If MN was interested I would jump on that for the suns.
    Free Kevin LOVe to PHX

  • Chaos

    Man at this point nash should be allowed to have imput on his team like d-wade, kobe and lebron have. He is the most important piece. He should go to management and put the team he wants around him (gortat is a good start and dudley is effective, so is dragic) he should get a real athletic pf and andre iguodala. Iggy aint stick around now that philly got turner and he could benefit. Vince can stick around but I doubt he would.

  • Chaos

    The thing that brings in a crowd if the team isn’t good is if the team is exciting. Shoot LAC isn’t a winning team but damnit they are fun to watch. Phoenix used to be both but the team was unnecessarily gutted. Well start over completely now. Iguodala, oj mayo, rashad lewis, they can pick up some players that nash can make look great.

  • poop on your blog

    deiken, fan, chaos… you all are crazy to think dragic can take over for nash and even more so if you think the suns should build around him moving forward. his regression this season has been the one of the teams greatest flaws. Net plus minus Dragic is the worst player on the team at -15.8. Nash by the way, +18.4… sigh, sad times for the suns. from azcentral.com, great line ‘Six years! That’s the length of time it took Robert Sarver to reduce an elite team with top-notch talent into a woeful team with no real future.’

  • north

    Imagine Nash running with Josh Smith and Al Horford while Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford rain down from the wings! If the Hawks could swap Nash for Bibby and change I think we’d be heading to ATL for a parade.

  • mykivee

    very nice article.i am waiting for an exciting move from the suns gm for what disaster he has done to the team this summer. if nash should be traded what would happen to the optimistic players of phx? who would lead them to think straight and be positive for the remaining 40 plus games left this season? nash has committed to this team and has not given up even if his teammates are not fighting in games anymore. i think that the gm should move some players that are not really for the suns game tempo like VC and GORTAT. and whats up with channing frye getting a 5 year deal and not giving it to amare?lets face it, the suns will lose if they would try to change their style of play. the suns made it to the conference finals last year with no one anticipating it. the suns should stop signing old and slow players for nash and g,hill i think is more than enough for veteran leadership for the team. they should try to get younger players like A.Igoudala or jason thompson. someone that the suns can try to build the team with. win or lose this season they would benefit something instead of throwing away money for players that dont want to play for phx at all

  • pH13

    if Nash were to be “freed”, where would be his best possible destinations?

  • rainman

    @ 16 If you’ve been saying that for years, then had they taken ur advoce they would not have been bare minutes, and a ron artest lay up away from a 3-2 series lead over the Lakers and another win from the Finals…

    I agree now is the time, but saying u’ve been going for that for years makes urself lose a bit of credit, because they have repeatedly proven u wrong these past few years. Its what the Steve Nash led Suns do.

    But this year finally, it seems that its time to let go of him.

  • http://www.RollerFunk.com Roller Funk

    Come back to Canada Steve. Raptors could use the help.

  • Hassan

    I gotta agree with this. Nash wants it too much to be rotting away in a bad situation like this. He should at the very least be on a team that’s going somewhere!

  • Emmjay71

    I’m a Lakers fan but I do like Steve Nash’s game, the boy can still play at his old age and bad back. Hopefully PNX will send him to OLN, were he will have an opportunity to at least make it to the finals but only to get beat down by the LA Lakers. He he he

  • Reed Ewing Frazier

    It kills me to see comments that he deserves to be on a winning team he is the main reason why they have never won a championship no defenese just another overhyped offensive player Nash is good but not great. Hopefully the team does what is best for the team instead of sending him to a contender he needs to learn to play some defense first. I hope to God that idiot Walsh does not try to get him to the Knicks. The Knicks are already being overhyped with Amare we ain’t winning nothing playing like PHX east.

    Knicks Up!! all the rest down!!!