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Steve Nash and the Suns appear to be ready to part ways

Jun 30, 2012, 6:50 PM EDT

Steve Nash AP

Steve Nash and the Suns handled his last season under contract in Phoenix masterfully. There was no media circus, no trade deadline speculation, and almost nothing in the way of rumors. It made for a peaceful if ultimately unsuccessful year for the Suns, one where Nash carried them as far as he could with a roster where he was forced to either score or create scoring for others on virtually every single possession.

When the season came to an end, it felt as though Nash had played his last game for the Suns — both in terms of the send-off the fans gave him, and in the regular season finale’s postgame press conference.

Now, with free agency set to open Saturday at midnight Eastern time, the things being said by both the Suns and Nash himself would lead you to believe that the player and the organization are preparing to part ways.

In an extensive interview with Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Nash began to sound as though for the first time, playing elsewhere next season is more likely than his returning to Phoenix.

“I would have said even in the middle of (last) season or last year that I would have thought I probably would have stayed in Phoenix forever,” Nash said. “But it’s come to a point now where I’m facing the reality that’s not (the case).”

And the reasons?

“I don’t necessarily feel like they’re determined to keep me,” Nash said. “I think there’s a lot of factors. So, one, I’m not sure they’re determined to keep me, (and) two, there’s other opportunities that are exciting. So I think I have to be open-minded … but at the same time be able to forecast where I’ll be most successful and happiest.”

The topic was also explored by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, who pointed out that other teams — namely Brooklyn, Dallas, or Toronto — are expected to be willing to offer Nash more money, a longer contract featuring a third year instead of the two the Suns will likely offer, or perhaps both.

Looking at what Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby told the Republic, it appears the organization might be coming to terms with the fact that it wouldn’t be in its best long-term interest to make those same kinds of offers to Nash.

“He (Nash) will have many factors to weigh,” he said. “Candidly, we will have decisions to make. If we can get together and reach a common ground, that’s fine. Regardless of the outcome, the one thing I’m confident about will be that it’ll be handled with grace and dignity on both sides. We’ll see if there is a basis for the relationship to continue that’s best for him and also best for us.”

That’s a far cry from Babby’s stance from this past season that Nash is the “sun, moon, and the stars” of the franchise, isn’t it?

The feeling has been lingering since the end of last season that Nash’s time in Phoenix has come to an end. With free agency upon us, it seems like both he and the organization are finally and publicly acknowledging it.

  1. fnc111 - Jun 30, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    i.e. the 5th largest metropolitan population and it’s nba franchise are unwilling to spend money to get a real roster of players. Nash would stay if they would go after a player like Ray Allen. But the owner is too cheap. Saver will kick himself when the attendance is less than 8k each game.

  2. isujames - Jun 30, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Ray Allen wants to play for a contender and the Suns have been far from being a contender for a while now.

  3. sufferingbirdsfan - Jun 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Steve Nash and Ray Allen want one thing a ring Nash wants it more then Allen since he don’t have one but that not the point they both want to go to the heat and if Allen really want a 2end ring he needs to leave the Celtics and go to the heat i mean lets face it the heat will win the next championship and maybe the the one after that.

    just putting it out there im no heat fan im a sixers fan

  4. Josh Harb - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Reblogged this on Josh Harb and commented:
    NOOOO!

  5. badintent - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    I have friends in Phoenix and they say that Nash wants to be near his 6 children but with the reality of massive child support payments , he needs to max out the little playing time left to provide a decent financial deal going forward for all concerned. I wish him well, and hope Knicks give him 3 years and tell Davis to got China, run with Starbury.

    • Kurt Helin - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      Nash has very successful off the court businesses as well. Don’t really fret about his financial situation.

  6. 700levelvet - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    TWO time MVP’S will always get more respect from me, then NBA hood rats or reality TV stars….of which you twitter asswipes are in love with…..Name your price Mr.Nash, you truly are an NBA legend

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