Suns fans, if it didn’t sink in before it probably has now, Steve Nash is wearing the Lakers gold and purple uniform. Nash played his first game as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier tonight when the Lakers faced the Warriors out in Fresno, California in their first preseason game.
Steve Nash is wearing a Lakers uniform….You know what? Until tip off earlier this evening that was still tough to imagine. What’s even tougher to imagine is when the Lakers come into the desert on January 30th 2013, and Nash will be playing in the U.S Airways center in purple and gold. Mark that date down Suns fans because that’s a game you wouldn’t want to miss.
Every successful franchise in professional sports its iconic superstar that elevated the franchise and built upon the culture of the franchise, Lakers had West, Celtics had Bird, and the Bulls had Jordan. It seems like ever since the Suns lost the coin flip for Kareem Abdul Jabbar things just never fell together.
The Suns have been in the NBA since 1968 and they are still in the search for that lucrative NBA championship. They came close in the ’76 Finals when they nearly upset the heavily favorite Boston Celtics, they came close again in the Barkley era but lost to the John Paxson shot in game 6 of the ’93 Finals, but most recently the Suns have been close(for the most part) from years 2004-2010 under the Steve Nash era.
I grew up in New York and I never had any interest in basketball until the day my mother was given a pair of Knicks tickets to a Suns game; I didn’t even go to that game. In fact my aunt ended up going with my mother and when my aunt came home she kept telling me in detail about the great play of this guy with long hair on the Suns wearing number 13. Naturally, a kid who grew up in technology era like me, I went online and looked up Steve Nash videos on Youtube. It was confusing at the time because “HD” Hadn’t hit Youtube yet and in some of his highlights, after he passed the ball I didn’t know where the ball was but I can tell someone scored, I thought to myself “Isn’t this cheating?” It took a few more views before I realize who he had pass to and by now after watching those videos hundreds of times I can look at the first 5 seconds of the video and tell you who he passed to. After a couple days of watching Suns highlights and Steve Nash highlights I started to play basketball and ultimately I fell in love with Suns.
Some Suns fans may never forgive Steve Nash for leaving Phoenix but let me rest assure you that it was the best situation for both parties. The Suns didn’t want to pay Nash the contract he desired, and had they paid him anything close to what he wanted all that would’ve accomplished is further delaying the inevitable rebuilding process. Irrelevant that he’s traded to the Lakers because let’s face it, the rivalry between the Suns and Lakers has been pretty one sided since their playoff showdown in 2010.
Steve Nash from 2004-2012 breathed life into the Suns organization, and revolutionized the NBA by bringing back the run-n-gun offense. Sure the Suns never got their championship but we can certainly make a case for the 2007 playoffs screw job as well as the other untimely playoff injuries that took place.
Bottom-line, I wouldn’t be here writing for the team I love today if it hadn’t been for Steve Nash making an impression on my aunt with his play on the court all those years ago, and Steve Nash has positively influenced the lives of so many people both on and off the court; in the Phoenix community and all around the world.
Granted it’s going to be tough to watch him play basketball for another team especially the Los Angeles Lakers, but I myself along with many other Suns fans want to say “Thank you Steve and good luck on your endeavor for that NBA title you never got here.”