Monday, July 20, 2009

7 seconds or take the money and run

I guess Steve Nash isn't so different after all. Forget the social conscience, the goofy haircuts and the freewheeling offensive style. Turns out, he just wants to get paid like everyone else.

How else to explain his decision to take a two-year, $22-million extension from Phoenix when he was a year away from free agency?

In 2010, he could have gone to almost any contender he wanted. He could have joined LeBron in New York under old coach Mike D'Antoni and been an instant title contender. Could have joined Dwyane Wade in Miami. Dwight Howard in Orlando. Brandon Roy in Portland. OJ Mayo in Memphis...ok, maybe not.

But any of those other scenarios would have given him a legit shot at the title. The downside is that he wouldn't have gotten $22 million. You'd think that wouldn't matter, given that's already made almost $72 million, with another $12 million due this season.

But obviously, it does.

So he'll stay in Phoenix, where they can't seem to figure out just what direction they're going. It's like Steve Kerr is the guy in Memento who wakes up every day with no recollection of what he's done before..."We're going to sell all our first round picks! We're going to trade Shawn Marion for Shaquille O'Neal! We're going to trade our best defensive players for Jason Richardson! We're going to give Shaq away! But no youth movement, cause we're re-signing Grant Hill! We're going to run with D'Antoni! We're going to play defense with Terry Porter! We're going to run with Alvin Gentry!"

My God, I thought Nash would bolt the first chance he took. While Phoenix can't get out of their own way, the Lakers don't look like they'll be giving up the Western Conference anytime soon, San Antonio got Richard Jefferson and Portland may still be a factor before it's all said and done.

And all this with diminishing returns from the Suns every year...the Western Finals in 2006, second round loss in 2007, first round loss in 2008, and no playoffs at all in 2009.

You'd think the writing would be on the wall for this team. Hell, it is on the wall- it's written in Jerry Colangelo's blood.

Nash is a smart guy. He knows all this. But he took the money, and is doomed to end his career with a string of first round losses.

And while I can't really begrudge anyone for taking $22 million, I thought Nash was different.

Guess I was wrong.

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