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Suns owner says Nash not being traded, expects team to come together

Jan 28, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

Suns Robert Sarver

Suns owner Robert Sarver is optimistic. Or delusional if you want. Your pick.

He told the Arizona Republic that this team is not that far removed from last season’s version that rode a hot streak to the Western Conference finals. That’s pretty darn optimistic (or delusional) — this year’s version is five games back of last season’s pace and last year’s Suns closed the season on a 28-7 run. These Suns — with the worst defense in the league giving up 112.6 points per 100 possessions — is not going to make that run. This team is what it is.

More importantly, last season’s Suns were a playoff team. These Suns are 3.5 games out of the last playoff spot in the West and it’s hard to see how they make up that ground.

Don’t think that means Steve Nash is going to be traded.

“At this point, Steve is still playing at a very high level and is a very important part of the franchise,” Sarver said. “I don’t see us making a trade (involving) him this year. I just don’t see it.

“The two main reasons for why I’d like to see Steve stay here is he’s still the best player and most important player on the team and, in addition, we’ve got a lot history together. That means something.”

To translate, “we’ve got a lot of history together” really means “the fan base would desert me if I traded him.”

Here’s the real bottom line for Sarver — the bottom line. He said attendance was even with last season and television ratings have been up 18 percent. Combine that with the need for financial flexibility heading into a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and Sarver has little motivation to make sweeping changes.

Instead, that financial situation allows him to cling to optimism. Or delusions. Your pick.

“I feel we have the talent to be a playoff team,” Sarver said. “We just have to bring it all together and get more consistency….

“We’ve added a lot of new pieces to the team,” Sarver said. “It takes time for those new players to be integrated. Offensively, our team revolves around Steve (Nash). He is a rhythm player. I think it takes times with new pieces to get that rhythm.”

  1. truprof - Jan 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    He’s delusional. What this year’s Suns lack is an alpha dog, someone who is willing to take things into his own hands, someone who can draw double teams and get to the line. Amare was that alpha dog last year and years before. That’s why Robin Lopez had a solid year last season, because he was paired with Amare. That freed both of them up quite a bit and it also freed up the Suns 3 point shooters. No one has stepped into the alpha dog role this year. And I don’t see anyone on the roster who can or will.
    Finally there has been such a shuffling of lineups that it should come as no surprise that there has been a glaring lack of consistency from the Suns, especially the 2nd unit which was so strong last year. That 2nd unit would often enter games and increase whatever lead the 1st unit had taken. This year, it’s just the opposite.
    Give it up, Bob. This years Suns, if they make the playoffs at all, will be 4 and out!

  2. rushbacker - Jan 29, 2011 at 6:17 AM

    Say “your pick” more, it just sounds so damn clever.

  3. leo85249 - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    This might be a more truthful reply by Sarver—

    When Amare left, I panicked.

    I hired an agent as President, whose major talent was getting fat, long term contracts for mediocre players. I forgot to tell him not to give fat, long term contracts for mediocre players like Frye, Warrick,, Childress and Torkulu plus an extension to R Lopez.

    I can’t trade Nash because the team might then be the worst in the nba and attendance and TV ratings would drop off the face of the earth.

    On the plus side, I guarantee the Suns will receive a lottery pick for at least the next 5 years.

    And since I purchased the Suns in 2004, we’ve drafted and traded Rajon Rondo, Luol Ding, Rudy Fenandez and Nate Robinson. Even though these guys never played for the Suns, it does prove we know talent.

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