Though I knew he was going to take his talents elsewhere next year (like New York or Toronto), I had no idea he would even consider the Phoenix Suns' Pacific Division rival. So when he ultimately chose L.A., I was completely taken aback.
Ugh, Los Angeles, I thought. Anywhere but there.
Like almost all Suns fans, I can't stand the Lakers. I loathe their arrogance, their obnoxious bandwagoners, and the way they've been handed everything without a struggle.
This being the case, Nash was Benedict Arnold a few days ago. The enemy. Not one of us. But since then, I've realized something. Stephen John Nash deserves to play wherever he wants. Even in La-La Land.
I say this because the two-time MVP has done so much for the Suns. After the Average Times (the 1996-2004 seasons), he returned to the Valley and transformed our team into an instant contender. Captain of the "Seven Seconds or Less" offense, he dazzled fans with his arsenal of crossovers, no-look passes, and off-balance jumpers. He turned Phoenix into PHOENIX.
If not for some bad luck (Joe Johnson's broken face in 2005, Amar'e Stoudemire's knee injury in 2006, the Stoudemire/Diaw suspensions in 2007, Tim Duncan's miracle 3 in 2008, Ron Artest's last-second put-back in 2010, and, of course, Robert Sarver's owning of the team from 2004-present) Nash may have led the Suns to an NBA title(s).
Even now, as he departs from the franchise, he's helping it. As an unrestricted free agent, Nash could've left the Suns empty handed, but thanks to his decision, we have four new draft picks -- two of them first round selections.
He's not pulling a LeBron or Dwight Howard. He's not embarrassing us. He just wants a chance to win a title and still be close to his kids.
Which is why I'll be supporting him. And when puts on that horrid yellow this fall, I'll say, "Thanks for the memories, Steve. Now go get that ring."