Lakers Nation Interview with Steve Nash
What a difference a year makes.
Today in El Segundo the Lakers introduced their newest addition. It wasn’t much of a party. Just a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Just a point guard that will enter the basketball Hall of Fame the first year he’s eligible. Just a guy who doesn’t stand that much taller than I do.
The Lakers have once again managed to outdo themselves. It always seems that there isn’t much more to be done that could possibly top what they’ve already accomplished. Yet every single time we begin to believe that that’s the case we find ourselves incredibly wrong.
Now, this might be a little bit of an overreaction considering the circumstances. I mean, Steve Nash is still just a 38-year-old point guard with a bad back. Right? Not in the minds of millions of Laker fans. To them Nash represents much more than an aging guard chasing a ring.
He is the embodiment of hope. He represents at least a few more seasons of relevance. And, honestly, in a city where perfection is often expected, just to garner this much excitement is astonishing. And after seeing Nash in action today during the press conference, I would say he’s up to the challenge.
Nash doesn’t seem like a guy who doesn’t weigh every possibility before making a decision. This isn’t to say he’s slow to react, I’m sure his dominance on the court over the last decade will certainly prove he isn’t, but he doesn’t strike me as a man without a plan. He isn’t here by accident. He didn’t join the Lakers at the drop of a hat purely because it sounded fun. With Steve Nash there’s always a reasoning behind the decision. And most of the time Nash is a rather competent decision maker.
This in itself should bring more encouragement to Lakers followers. Nash obviously saw something here that he felt was acceptable. He sees a potential with this roster, with this group of guys, that he wasn’t able to get anywhere else. Nash sat down, weighed his options, and decided that the Lakers gave him the best opportunity to win.
That has to count for something.
And anybody that worries about Nash not being able to fit in with these players, in this city, is doing so needlessly. Nash fits into the Los Angeles puzzle in every way imaginable. He’s as majestic in front of a camera as he is with the basketball. It seems like everything is effortless to him. Five minutes into his first press conference as a member of the team with the largest, and often harshest media market east of New York, Nash had them eating from the palm of his wizard-like hands. He fits the Laker mold so perfectly that it’s almost hard to fathom.
On the court Nash brings to the table everything the Lakers had been lacking over the last two seasons. He’s a deadly outside shooter and can get to the basket. He makes every one of his teammates around him better by putting them in a position to succeed. He takes the pressure off of Kobe Bryant and takes the ball out of his hands. In the past Bryant has had to be the Lakers’ Atlas, holding the team on his broad shoulders just to make sure things don’t fall apart, and suddenly he has someone to help carry that burden.
Off the court Nash also fits better than a glove. He’s everything Bryant isn’t. He’ll smile for the camera and turn on the charm. He doesn’t mind gabbing with the media for 45 minutes, often repeating the same answers just to appease the sea of reporters hanging on his every syllable.
It’s all so effortless.
And that’s what the Lakers need more than anything. They need a guy who knows what he’s doing, and has a clear directive and goal for the future. They need someone who can calm them down or rile them up. They need someone who has their back, and is able to prove it over and over again.
By the end of his time in Los Angeles it’s very possible that Nash will not have reached his ultimate goal. Winning a championship is not an easy task, especially with LeBron James leading his Mordor-like army out in South Beach, and Kevin Durant’s rising dominance emerging in Oklahoma City. But there’s one thing that is certain about Steve Nash and Los Angeles.
It’s a perfect fit.