According to multiple trusted sources on Twitter, the Phoenix Suns have traded Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers for future draft picks. This news surprised many of us at first since it seemed to come out of left field, but it actually makes sense from Nash’s perspective if he wants to win a championship before he retires. If his options were the Raptors, Knicks, Mavericks and Lakers, the latter team would understandably seem most appealing to Nash.
For Raptors fans like myself who sat trembling with anticipation in front of their Twitter accounts for days, the way Nash played the Raptors for leverage was a reminder that even the most beloved Canadian basketball player ever doesn’t want to play in Canada. OK, to be fair, it’s probably not about the “Canada” part for Nash, it’s more about the “Raptors are an unfunny joke” part. The only free agents that seem to want to sign with this franchise are mediocre ones like Landry Fields and Hedo Turkoglu — and even they need to be overpaid.
Knicks fans are understandably upset about this development as well, but frankly I don’t want to hear it. Nash wasn’t going to get them past the Heat, anyway, and they never have to worry about whether or not big-name free agents will take them seriously. We’ve got one NBA team in Canada, and convincing Nash to join the Raptors would have been arguably the biggest moment in Canadian pro sports since August 1988 when the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky to the L.A. Kings. (I was 13. I cried. Note: After I posted this, an astute commenter pointed out that the Toronto Blue Jays’ World Series victories in ’92 and ’93 were also kind of a big deal.) Once more, the glitz and glamor of the City of Angels has seduced one of Canada’s most beloved sporting sons, and the sting of rejection is only a little easier to take now than it was then.
But enough of my wallowing, how about those Lakers! Nash, Kobe, Pau and Bynum aren’t exactly Payton, Kobe, Malone and Shaq, but they’re still extremely intriguing and imposing. Suddenly, a Heat vs. Thunder rematch in the 2013 Finals doesn’t seem like such a sure thing, and the Heat vs. Lakers championship clash so many NBA fans have been dying to see — including the ones who claim to hate both teams, trust me on this — appears to be a significant possibility.
Speaking of which… your move, Riles. This would be a good time to send another text to Ray Allen.