When it was over, I wondered why Dirk bolted at the end of the game, once again leaving the ESPN sideline reporter with a lonely look of abandonment. I wondered if Mark Cuban would emerge from his kingdom of quiet and start acting like….Mark Cuban. I wondered what David Stern was thinking about as he was handing the trophy to a bunch of players he’s soon going to lock out. I mockingly wondered why he didn’t pull some strings and make a Game 7 happen.
I didn’t wonder what was going through LeBron’s head because I bet it’s scary in there.
But most of all I wondered what emotions, beyond that of predictable joy for his friend Nowitzki, Steve Nash was experiencing at the moment it all went down. Was it just the pure happiness or was it watered down with a splash of envy. A pinch of longing.
Two weeks ago I wrote a slide show column titled “Five Reasons I’m Rooting for the Mavericks.” Reason #4 went like this……
Nash – who by every account is content with the Suns and isn’t going to chase a title – sees his buddy Dirk win one. Nash then reconsiders and decides rather than be content he wants to be in contention and he asks for a trade. That means the Suns can finally get on to the business of preparing for life after their two-time MVP.
I’ve been told countless times by countless people. Nash is not going to go title chasing. He’s happy here. Content. At peace with his place in this world, basketball wise and otherwise. He speaks of this desire to stay with unflinching sincerity. Every time the topic of asking for a trade comes up, the look on his face and the tone in his voice resembles mine on the occasions I’ve had to ask my parents for money. I just don’t want to go there. But no one, not one soul, would blame him if he did. Especially after Sunday night?
His longtime wingman just made it to the Emerald City without him. But Nowitzki did it by staying the course and staying with his team. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that if Nash does the same, and stays with the Suns, it cannot possibly yield the same results. I wonder if watching Dirk win it all has stirred up something different inside of Nash. Maybe today he’s thinking, on second thought I do want one of those…badly, even if it means being THAT GUY who asks management for a trade. I personally hope he does, for two reasons.
One: He’s earned the right to be THAT GUY. He’s been passing the ball his whole life; I see nothing wrong with a sudden infusion of selfishness.
Two: If he does decide to go title chasing, maybe it will stir the sleepwalking Suns front office to begin the post-Nash reconstruction era. His desire to not rock the boat clearly fits the Suns business model. Nash is their meal ticket and they’re holding on tight. I’m still not sure they’d get enough to make it worth their while. If the Mavs can win a title with Jason Kidd running the show, surely a wanna-be contender would view Nash as last piece to the puzzle. The Suns are never going to know until they ask, and it’s about time they did.
Either surround Nash with the talent necessary to make a run or recognize that the window has passed and start preparing for the next window, whenever that may be.
As Dirk, and Jason, and Jason, and Shawn demonstrated Sunday night; greatness is still the goal. It’s not good enough to just be good. Is that what Steve Nash thought about while watching the game?