“You don’t replace Steve Nash.”
Fans of the Phoenix Suns can only hope that general manager Lance Blanks isn’t trying to tell everyone that once Nash retires, the team plans to completely exclude a point guard from the starting rotation and play four-on-five basketball.
While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, acknowledging the fact that the man is going to need replacing isn’t.
Management’s confidence in Goran Dragic as a satisfactory replacement, and essentially the future face of the franchise, seems to have disappeared almost as fast as the scoring ability of Vince Carter. Trading for Aaron Brooks has made that quite clear.
Worrying about replacement options, though, is not what this trade should bring attention to. The focus should be on the fact that everything the Suns are doing screams that they’re still committed to giving Nash his best shot at winning while they still can.
Utah Jazz GM Kevin O’Connor’s advice to Suns president Lon Babby during trade talks ironically brings the most clarity on the subject.
“[O’Connor] said, ‘Listen, what you need to do is savor every moment with Steve Nash because he’s a once-in-a-lifetime player,'” Babby said. “That’s what we intend to do: Savor every moment.”
With this coming from a man who lost his Hall of Fame coach and traded his up-and-coming star in the past two weeks, the Suns and their fans need to listen.
Denver and Utah recently succumbed to the anti-Nash demands of Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams causing the road to the playoffs in the Western Conference to look a little easier. It’s the road through the conference that seems to have played heavily into the Suns’ deadline decision.
While it has yet to be determined if this move is the one that needed to be made, O’Connor’s words ring loud.
Time is of the essence because, believe it or not, Nash isn’t gone yet.