Feb 28, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT
Steve Nash is not one for regret.
When he decided to leave Phoenix to chase a ring the last couple years of his career he had plenty of suitors — the Knicks really wanted him in Manhattan, Toronto back in Canada, and other teams had inquired.
But Nash chose the Lakers to be close to his family, which stayed in Phoenix. And while the Lakers season has not been what anyone expected, Nash told Sam Amick of the USA Today in a fantastic interview he wouldn’t have made a different decision looking back.
“Ten out of 10 times, I make the same decision again,” Nash told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “I’ve gotten to see my kids probably four times as much as I’d seen them if I’d have gone back East. That’s first and foremost. Second of all, it’s a great experience to play for the Lakers organization. … I’m happy here.
“I’m beyond playing for the credit or the adulation. I feel secure in myself as a player. I just want to help this team, regardless of what it means for me personally.”
More than anyone else on the Lakers, Nash has sacrificed his game for the team. In fact, if there had been more of his sacrifice and professionalism in the locker room the Lakers might not be looking up at the playoffs.
He is the best decision maker in the game, he is a two-time MVP, generally you want the ball in his hands because good things happen. But that’s not what has worked in L.A. Nash shares playmaking duties with Kobe Bryant and is a space-the-floor shooter on a lot of plays. Which is not what anyone expected when Mike D’Antoni was hired, but it’s what is working for the Lakers, who have won 11 of their last 15.
“His desire to figure out a way to make it work is remarkable,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “He’s always prodding, always making the sacrifice. Yet you have to catch yourself and say, ‘This is a two-time MVP.’ He could certainly say, ‘No, I’m not changing. You’ve got to do it my way.’ How many two-time MVPs are as accommodating as he is?”
Said D’Antoni: “It’s too bad not everybody is like that, because that would make my job and everybody’s job … a lot easier. It’s not like that, but he’s hard to put in words because he’s the best you can be — with his teammates, with his coaching staff. He’s the best. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Nash has two more years under contract after this one (more than any other Laker on the roster right now) and whatever these Lakers evolve into the next couple years he will be at the heart of it.
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