The hard truth? Nash knows Suns lack talent
At 37-years-old he is as worldly as any player in the NBA - and maybe sports, in general.
And, having listened to the way he answers questions, it would be safe to say he doesn't just "say things." No, every word the Suns star gives a reporter is done with purpose and for a reason.
Needless to say, the veteran's words after Tuesday's tough home loss to the Raptors were a little surprising.
"We just don't have the talent to, you know, go out there and win games," he said. "We've got to find a little bit something extra, we've got to find a little magic and our chemistry, our cohesion - we haven't found it yet."
A player saying the team just doesn't have enough talent to win games is not something you generally hear - or want to hear, really - but with the Suns struggling to a 6-11 mark it would be disingenuous of Nash or anyone else to say everything is just fine on Planet Orange.
However, maybe those words, while troubling, could be chalked up to the frustration of another tough loss, as the game had only recently ended.
But then came Thursday's words.
"We're a team in transition so we don't have a complete roster, so we can't expect to be at the top," Nash said, noting that the team can expect to improve.
They're not improving, though, and Nash said the organization has made it clear that it is going to wait until the summer to make any moves. So, what they have now is what they'll have the rest of the way, and it's not too early to see that it just won't be enough to make this team relevant.
Is Nash frustrated? Probably, and with good reason.
Twenty months ago the Suns swept the San Antonio Spurs right out of the playoffs. Twenty months ago Nash was battling with Kobe Bryant for a chance to play in his first NBA Finals. Twenty months ago the Suns were one of the best teams in the Western Conference - just as they had been for most of Nash's tenure in Phoenix - and played to a sold-out US Airways Center on a nightly basis.
Nash has seen plenty of talented players leave the Valley since he returned to the Suns in 2004, though each time he was able to elevate the play of those around him enough to make everything alright.
He was able to turn water into wine, so to speak, as role players would find new life as starters and castoffs would become integral pieces on a championship roster. "Steve makes everyone better" became a motto of sorts, and true as it may have been, it was also unfair.
And, now, it's an unrealistic idea.
It's not that Nash isn't any good, as his numbers would indicate he's playing a level similar to the one that landed him a couple of MVP awards back in the day. The points are there, the assists are there and the shooting percentage is there. The only thing that's missing is the wins, and those, unfortunately, are not on the way.
"We can't go out and look around and talk about our talent or whatever," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said, noting that he just wants maximum effort from his team. "I'm not going to sit here and whine about what we don't have because that does us zero good."
Seventeen games into the season the Suns understand what they are: a team seriously lacking in too many areas to compete. That's not going to change, though, as there will be no reinforcements, no late-season signing, no playoff run.
All there will be is Steve Nash and his band of role players, a flawed group that, for all the effort and cohesion they may be able to muster, will ultimately fall short of even the most modest of goals.