Steve Nash talks about pending free agency

Jun 25, 2012, 10:56 PM | Updated: Jun 26, 2012, 12:10 am

Are we getting closer to the end of the Steve Nash era in
the Valley?

That remains to be seen, but we do know that in six days
several other NBA teams will allowed to court Phoenix’s
favorite Sun. The league’s free agency period will start
next Sunday at 9:00 p.m. PST, and Nash’s phone will begin
ringing shortly after that time.

The two-time league MVP appeared on ESPN Radio 98.7 in New
York City with hosts Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco
answered many questions about his future in the league.

First on the list, not surprisingly, were the factors that
Nash will consider when making a decision and whether or
not there’s a pecking order of importance for those

“I have to consider all those different factors:
financial, family, environment, ability to win,” he said.
“No one factor really goes above any other, it’s all of
those put together that is going to make a decision.”

People assume a great player who’s pushing forty years of
age and doesn’t have a ring would automatically elevate
the pursuit of a championship to the top of the list of
factors, but Nash isn’t willing to discount all other
potential reasons.

“I think it’s nice to have that idea that I want to win a
championship at all costs, but that’s also difficult. For
example, you could turn down a ton of money to go to a
team you think could win a championship and there’s an
injury or the chemistry isn’t right and you get traded in
six months,” Nash explained. “I think you have to be
really careful in trying to make a sound decision that
incorporates a little more. I’ve got to put all those
things into the hat and try to figure out and reconcile
all the factors that will make me happy, and hopefully
that will be with a team that has a chance to win, but
there’s a lot of factors involved.”

How about money? Some teams will come after Nash with
offers in the neighborhood of $10 million per season,
while other, more cash-strapped franchises may be able to
pony up about a third of that. Nash discussed the
importance of getting paid as well.

“I definitely feel like I’d like to be validated
monetarily to an extent. Maybe not the same extent, but
it’s important, I think. In our business, I think money,
in many ways, represents respect.”

Of course with the interview originating from a New York
station, a lot of the talk centered around Nash’s thoughts
about the Knicks, and whether the fact that former Suns
head coach Mike D’Antoni was fired last season would
detract him from considering the Big Apple.

“Everyone knows I love Mike and we had some good years
together and so it would have been another factor in
everything, but what’s in the past is in the past,” Nash
said. “When Sunday comes around, I’m going to have to look
at everything with fresh new eyes and see what the best
situation is for me.”

Then, there’s the lurking scenario of Nash signing on with
a team like the Miami Heat or Los Angeles Lakers, who have
been usual suspects on the list of potential suitors.

Nash had an interesting take on those possibilities.

“The truth is, I’m a little bit old school. It would be
hard to put on a Lakers jersey. That’s just what it is.
You play against them so many times in the playoffs, and I
just use them as an example — I have the utmost respect
for them and the organization,” he said. “I think it was
Larry Bird, he wouldn’t have played for them. I kind of
have that tendency, so it is strange. As a free agent,
you’re free to go wherever you want. I have to consider
everything regardless of the past or the future. You have
to evaluate in that moment.”

Nash’s next employer could be determined in the next week,
but until then, the speculation will fly. The eight-time
All-Star truly sounds like someone who is genuinely
excited at the prospects of free agency.

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