Friday, July 6, 2012

Steve Nash: Dammit
As we all know by now, Steve Nash is going to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade that sends two first-rounders, two second-rounders, and $3 million in cash to the Suns. The top news story is not that the Suns are getting the next two 28th picks in the draft for the best or second-best player in their franchise history. The top news story is that I'M DEVASTATED.

Steve Nash is probably my favorite player who is not on the Celtics. The Lakers are my least favorite team in the NBA by a mile. The thing in my sports life that was most similar to this was when Johnny Damon went to the Yankees (though, admittedly, that was more devastating). It's sort of the exact inverse of when Shaq left the Lakers. This means that I probably won't be able to root for Nash anymore for the rest of his career, and that kind of blows. And we all know Ray Allen's going to the Heat. So you should all feel bad for me. Because ultimately, this is all about me.

But what's really interesting is the way that Steve Nash will fit in on the Lakers. In many ways, Kobe probably saw Derek Fisher as the perfect point guard: a guy who would never look for his own shot, would help out Kobe any way he could, was a spot-up shooter from 3, and would flatten Europeans when the situation called for it (I know Luis Scola is from Argentina, and that Argentina isn't in Europe, but if that guy's not European then no one is). Steve Nash is unselfish as well, but he's truly most valuable when he runs the offense. And I'd be shocked if Kobe didn't still run the Laker offense.

I predict that Nash's role on the Lakers will mirror Dwyane Wade's role on the Heat. Wade could do a lot more, but with a player more fit to run the show on his team, he sort of takes a back seat. Nash will do good things for the Lakers, but his role will be diminished because that team really belongs to Kobe and Bynum. Nash will be able to run the offense when Kobe needs a rest, and he's a great 2nd option at guard to have. I sort of see Nash playing the Derek Fisher role when Kobe and Bynum are on the floor with him, but obviously, Nash is 10000000X better at that role than Fisher would ever be --  sort of like how Dwyane Wade is 10000000X better at the Mo Williams role than Mo Williams could ever be.

I think Nash makes this year's Lakers a LOT better. He represents something the Lakers haven't had in the Kobe era: an elite point guard. His talent and value won't be maximized in LA, but it won't need to be. They might just be the favorites in the West this year. They're certainly no lower than #2. And it's all because of my favorite non-Celtic. Dammit.

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