Found January 20, 2013 on
Fox Sports West:
This is how it was supposed to be.
Canadian national hero Steve Nash returns to his native country in the twilight of his career, chasing the dreams of a championship that has eluded him for sixteen years. Welcomed warmly by his fellow countrymen, he would be the toast of the provinces.
Sunday that's exactly what will take place at the Air Canada Centre.
However, there's something wrong with this picture: He was supposed to be a Toronto Raptor. Instead, the point guard returns to his home country in the purple and gold of the Lakers. He'll still be treated as a conquering hero, but it won't be quite the same.
During the summer, it seemed like a done deal; Nash taking 36 million for the next three years to try and revive pro basketball in Toronto, then possibly move into the Raptors' front office. He's already the General Manager of Canada Basketball, and he probably could have added the title of Raptors GM to his executive resume. But after flirting a bit with the New York Knicks, the free agent agreed to a shocking sign and trade between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns.
Nash turned down more money from the other teams, saying he wanted to be closer to his three children, who live in Arizona with his ex-wife. He's also said that he felt playing for the Lakers is his best chance at a title before his career ends.
"I was very close (to signing with the Raptors)," Nash told Canadian media outlet QMI in October. "It appeared they were going to be an option long before free agency started. So I got my head around that and I was confortable and happy with the opportunity to play Toronto. But when the opportunity (with the Lakers) became a reality, I couldn't pass it up."
With the Lakers at 17-22 and three games out of a playoff spot, he may have miscalculatedat least for this season. But he says he doesn't regret his decision to move to L.A.
"No, not at all," he said when asked about it after practice Friday. "This is the place I wanted to be and still do." Despite choosing the Lakers over the Raptors he's hoping for a pleasant reception from the fans when the starting lineups are introduced.
"But I'm not sure (how the crowd will react)," he said. "I've always gotten an incredible reception there, but since I didn't sign with them, I don't know how they'll react."
Norm Rumack, longtime talk show host for the Raptors' flagship radio station -- 590 The Fan and internet TV network Nextsportstar.com, says that Nash has nothing to worry about.
"I think most reasonable people understand that he wanted to pursue a championship at this stage of his career," Rumack said, "and he wanted to be close to his kids. That's all good.
"People have always appreciated how he carries himself. He's humble and he's served his country by playing for the national team over the years. He a two-time MVP and the people are cognizant of that. He's definitely a favorite of the Canadian people and cherished as a hero because of his accomplishments and because he's very classy. He conducts himself like a real pro.
"I'm sure he'll get a great ovation when he's introduced on Sunday."
Nash will certainly appreciate the warmth from an opposing crowd, but after the 99-90 loss to Miami Thursday night, he'll be focused on just one thingtrying to get the Lakers into the playoffs.
"It's been desperation time for us for a while now," Nash said of his Lakers, who are five games under .500 as the face the Raptors. "No more moral victories for uswe have to win. We have to win at a rate of two out of every three games now and get back into this thing before its too late."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni recently moved Kobe Bryant on the ball defensively, asking him to spend tremendous energy guarding younger, athletic guards like Kyrie Irving and Brandon Jennings.
Will D'Antoni stick with that plan with Bryant, even if it wears him down?
"How many more games do we have?" joked D'Antoni. "Unless he dies before ... like...
The Los Angeles Lakers are desperately trying to manage some wins to take a stab at the 8th seed as the team now holds a paltry 17-23 record. A team that once could pick off many of the teams in the league is struggling against the league’s bottom feeders; Sunday’s game against Toronto was another [...]The post Did Kobe Bryant Indirectly Ask For A Roster Change? appeared first...
The struggling Los Angeles Lakers have been looking to Kobe Bryant to do an awful lot this season. On top of carrying the offense, Mike D’Antoni has now called on his 34-year-old guard to defend the opposing team’s best perimeter threat on a nightly basis.
Kobe is having a very impressive year for sure, but it’s a lot to ask of someone his age and with as much mileage as he...
Kobe Bryant is one of the most confident athletes you’ll ever come across. So it’s no surprise that he would say that he’s the best one on one player of all time. In an interview with ESPN, Kobe told a story about how he beat Tracy McGrady in a game [...]
Yesterday the Toronto Raptors beat the LA Lakers at the ACC. Normally this would be big news but in terms of the Raptors pulling off an upset. This win was nice and all, but honestly the story that came out of this game is more about how bad the Lakers are than the Raptors making progress.
Is this the ultimate karma kick in the head for LA? They load up on Dwight Howard and Steve...
Breaking Elgin Baylor’s previous franchise mark of 71, Lakers icon Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in less than 42 minutes to will Los Angeles to a 122-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors in front of a raucous 18,997 fans at … Continue reading →
Had you told me when I woke up this morning that I would be writing several paragraph's about an NBA player who refuses to clean up dog poop, my first reaction would've been "just another Friday", but my second reaction most definitely would've been "gotta be Kobe". And wouldn't you know, it was.
Chris Palmer of ESPN the magazine had a long interview...
The season has been a colossal disappointment so far, and Kobe Bryant was willing to shoulder the blame not only for Sunday's defeat, but also for the entire season.
The Lakers are 17-23, six games under .500, have fired a coach in Mike Brown, think about trading Paul Gasol everyday, and are just mired in mediocrity.
There are more than enough people to go around who can share part in the blame, but according to ESPN L.A., Kobe Bryant says you can “point the finger at him, he’ll take the blame.”
“That’s on me,” the 34-year-old Bryant...
The Los Angeles Clippers are off to a better start to their season than the Lakers. The Clippers now have 32 wins on the season and the Lakers are still suffering even after they replaced the head coach they started the season with. The Clippers are getting some great play from guys like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Paul helped the Clippers to win over the Wizards last night scoring...
Frustrations appear to be taking their toll on the Los Angeles Lakers, who can't seem to right the ship.
The Chicago Bulls, in contrast, have mostly held their own, but coach Tom Thibodeau was anything but pleased with their latest effort.
The slumping Lakers try to avoid their longest road losing streak in eight seasons Monday night against a Bulls team that could be without...
The Big Leagues Anybody else in the world, rejoice!
Landry Fields had a season-high 18 points and 10 rebounds as the
Toronto Raptors sent the Los Angeles Lakers to their fifth straight
road loss, 108-103 on Sunday.
The Phoenix Suns have started the 2012-2013 season 13-28 after losing MVP point guard Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers in the off season. The Suns were hoping the additions of Michael Beasley and Goran Dragic would at least help them stay around the .500 mark. With the [...]