Former Sun, current Laker Steve Nash: 'I wanted to come back'
Former Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash said that he wanted to return to the team because he was unhappy about the past few seasons and wanted to play a part of the rebuilding process.
"I felt dissatisfied with the last two seasons, not making the playoffs," the new Los Angeles Lakers point guard told Arizona Sports 620's Burns & Gambo Show on Friday. "A big part of me wanted to leave the franchise in a better place than it was the last two seasons and be a part of moving it forward."
However, Nash said it became apparent in June that his time in Phoenix was over, but it was official at the beginning of free agency when the Suns didn't make a serious offer.
"They wanted to go in another direction," he said of the Suns front office staff, adding that he had to push Suns owner Robert Sarver to make the sign-and-trade deal.
Nash said that he likely would have ended up in either New York or Toronto, but when the Lakers surprised him, it was hard to say no.
"It was completely out of the blue," he said. "Even though you're not allowed to talk to teams, you kind of know what teams are interested. To a certain degree, you kind of know what's going to happen. But the Lakers weren't an option. I didn't even realize they had that trade exception from Lamar Odom. There wasn't really any talk, there wasn't really anything. My agent hadn't really spoken about it as an option, and then they called, shortly after midnight on [July 1] and the door swung open."
During the interview, Nash made no secret about his main desire to play in Los Angeles was because his children, based in Phoenix, would be nearby. But he also said it was exciting to be moving to a contender, especially one that has Kobe Bryant in the ranks.
"I'm not going to go to the Lakers and all the opportunities there because it's the best thing for my family, and not talk to Kobe and show up and realize he wasn't for it, so it was great that he signed off and that he was so enthusiastic about it and positive," Nash said. "You could feel it. He was genuine and excited. That kind of sealed the deal."
Nash said that, despite the move, he has still received a lot of support from Suns fans and respects those who aren't happy about it. However, he is lost when it comes to saying goodbye to a city and fanbase he calls home.
"How do you possibly say goodbye and really show your appreciation for what the last eight years have meant to me -- all the people, faces and places in the Valley -- that are a huge part of my life?"
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