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Zen And The Art Of

Mourning Steve Nash

Steve Nash trade recap courtesy NBA TV.
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Steve Nash just might be the best player to have ever put on a Phoenix Suns uniform. Image by Keith Allison and used under the terms of a Creative Commons license.
As Another Former Member Of The Run And Gun Phoenix Suns Moves On To End Their Career With A Contender, Fans Are Betrayed, Yet Hopeful

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By Bob Goodwood
Modern Times Magazine

July 6, 2012 — OK, Phoenix Suns fans, it's time to take a collective deep breath.

That’s right, you can do it. Sure, Steve Nash is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers and any connection to championship level basketball of years past has left U.S. Airways Center, but that is no reason to freak out.

Just take a deep breath and let any feelings of betrayal go, if only for one second.

Come on, you can do it.

There, doesn’t that feel better?

After the events of this week, it is no wonder that fans of the Phoenix Suns are a little shocked, but some are beyond shocked. Many are hurt, betrayed, morose and frenzied. Most figured Suns management was not going to match a contract offer to Steve Nash this time around, and he would be gone. But after the trade, threats of burning Nash jerseys have been appearing on chat boards and comment sections throughout the interwebs.

After all, Nash “masterminded” a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers — the dreaded beast of the West.

Nash even praised owner Robert Sarver for doing the deal, which included the Lakers’ first round picks in 2013 and 2015 and second round picks in 2013 and 2014. But the fact remains that Sarver and the front office — including Lon Babby and Lance Banks — decided that Nash was not worth the going rate and in order to “respect” him, they traded him to the Lakers.

That rings a bit hollow. What does it really say about Eric Gordon and Michael Beasley? Nash always said he would stay if the deal was for three years and the roster got an upgrade, so adding Beasley and Gordon to next year’s Suns squad does not make the team a championship contender? Then, what can fans expect with the return of Goran Dragic to run the team instead of Nash?

But after a deep breath — and maybe some tantric humming — the four draft picks make the situation a bit more palatable. Then again, two late first round picks — assuming the Suns keep them all by next year’s draft — are unknown outcomes. Busts are more common than winners in the NBA draft.

Beasley and Gordon will surely make nice additions to the roster — as long as the New Orleans Hornets will agree to a deal palatable to all sides. Perhaps the Suns will dip into the now deep draft-pick bucket or have to throw in a player on the roster?

And, getting Dragic back makes up for one of the most boneheaded moves of the new Babby/Blanks regime. Trading Scorin’ Goran for Aaron Brooks and including a draft pick in 2011 was dumb. Brooks only ended up playing half a season in purple and orange.

But the Phoenix Suns might be able to avoid the lottery again next season if they can land Gordon. If no other moves are made to the roster and Gordon is signed without giving up other players, a lineup of Gordon, Dragic, Beasley, Josh Childress, Marcin Gortat, Robin Lopez, Jared Dudley, Channing Frye, Hakim Warrick, Sebastian Telfair, Markieff Morris and Kendall Marshall includes some highly serviceable pieces.

But from the outside looking in, it is still a bit of a light foundation on which to build championship dreams.

Hopefully, trading Steve Nash by being compassionate, having patience and acting with virtue — tenets of the way of Zen espoused by former Lakers coach Phil Jackson — the Phoenix Suns might just build some positive karma on the road to the first championship in team history.

But then again, fans of the Phoenix Suns might have to sit and watch as Nash throttles his former team for the next three years and maybe helps Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers secure another championship.

Just remember to breathe, Suns fans.

Bob Goodwood lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. Reach him directly at bob.goodwood@yahoo.com.
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