Fri May 22 12:35pm EDT
Early last week, I had the opportunity to fire some lighthearted questions at Phoenix Suns point guard, and fellow Canadian, Steve Nash(notes). His answers showed up in my email inbox today. Here's our back and forth conversation about the NBA Playoffs, the LeBron/Kobe "debate," futebol and more. Enjoy.
Ball Don't Lie: You've done a fair amount of traveling the globe. Which city/country has been your favorite, and why? What's one place you would like to visit?
Steve Nash: I'm actually flying from Paraguay to Buenos Aires at the minute and Buenos Aires is one of my favorite cities, though there are many. I was recently in Hawaii and love it there and their culture as well. I'd love to go to India.
BDL: According to your Twitter feed (@The_Real_Nash) you've been watching a decent amount of the NBA Playoffs. Let's hear some thoughts. Who you got in the Finals?
Nash: I've only watched a few playoff games this year since I've been traveling constantly but they seem exciting. I feel like it's Cleveland’s year because their chemistry is so good.
BDL: Mini-follow up to that: When you watch a basketball game on television, do you watch it purely as a spectator or is there part of your brain that refuses to give up observing it as a pro basketball player?
Nash: I only watch as a spectator, but I'm always trying to learn.
BDL: Hypothetical scenario: David Stern falls in love with soccer and leaves the L. You, Steve Nash, are named NBA commissioner. (Congrats!) What's the first issue you try to address? How do you go about fixing it?
Nash: If I were commissioner I'd want the regular season to mean something more than playoff seedings. It indicates who the best team is over the course of 82 games and that's the most telling accomplishment and should be rewarded like the playoffs.
BDL: Your vitaminwater team currently has a pretty cool spot running that asks, "Who's better: LeBron or Kobe?" As a guy who has played against them both, who you got? "Who do you want holding the ball with the game on the line?"
Nash: Yeah, vitaminwater has fans choosing between Kobe and LeBron on Facebook (facebook.com/vitaminwater). Personally, I think it's an impossible question. I guess if pushed I'd say LeBron is the better well-rounded player ... but I'd want Kobe to take the last shot.
BDL: More hypothetical fun: For reasons unknown, the NBA has decided to field a World Cup soccer team. You're asked to captain the squad and pick the remaining 10 players. (Congrats again!) Who do you choose?
Nash: My NBA soccer team would be: Ronny Turiaf(notes) in goal, Leandro Barbosa(notes), Raja Bell(notes), Luol Deng(notes) and Baron Davis(notes) in the back, myself, Jason Kidd(notes), Manu Ginobili(notes) and Jose Calderon(notes) in midfield and Tony Parker(notes) and Andrei Kirilenko(notes) up front.
BDL: A few days ago, Alvin Gentry and your Suns agreed to a three-year coaching deal that finally removes that pesky "interim" tag from his title. How important is it to maintain some sense of continuity going from season to season? Or is that an overrated media term — continuity?
Nash: I'm really happy the Suns have signed Alvin Gentry. He's a great coach with a lot of experience. I believe in continuity and a franchise having a vision and philosophy. Having the security of the coach is important.
BDL: Speaking of coaching, a lot of Twitter folk wanted to know whether you have any desire to coach at some level after your NBA playing days are done?
Nash: I've never wanted to coach, but who knows how I'll feel about that in ten years.
BDL: Finally, a few rapid-fire questions: Who or what always puts a smile on your face?
Nash: My wife and kids.
BDL: What's your favorite movie? And you can't say that Shaq/Tucker one you directed.
Nash: "The Big Lebowski."
BDL: What's your worst vice?
Nash: The odd glass of wine or beer.