Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash is heading toward the end of his basketball career. Nash is 38 years old and averaging 12.9 points per game and 11.2 assists per game. His Suns won’t be a contender for the NBA championship for some time but currently are fighting to earn the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
And if this is going to be his last season with Phoenix, Nash (who will be a free agent this summer) knows which season was his best chance at a title and is still pondering what would have happened in 2007, if Robert Horry of the San Antonio Spurs at the time, might not have hip-checked him late in game four of the Spurs-Suns playoff series.
“You can’t look back on that series and go ‘if the suspensions didn’t happen we were through,’ but we were also at an all-time high,” Nash said. “Diaw was playing at an exceptional level, Amare was great. We had a nice team around the main guys.”
Nash is still uncertain if the Suns would have won that series and the title had Horry not hip checked him, but he did say in the interview that it was the best Phoenix team in his mind. But San Antonio would be a thorn on the Nash’s side as he pointed to the 2007 playoff series with the Spurs yet again.
“We go home with a chance to go up 3-2, but Boris and Amare – who happened to be our only power forwards on the roster, and this is a roster that didn’t really have a center – get suspended,” he said. “We go home, have to play a very good Spurs team without any of our limited size or our frontcourt talent.”
Nash also describes the deflated spirit when Tim Duncan nailed a clutch three-point chance to once again ruin the Suns’ title dreams in the 2008 playoffs.
“We had that game won so many times,” Nash said, noting the back and forth nature of the game. “And then Tim hit the shot, and I was just like, unbelievable.
“And then that was it, we lost all momentum, all belief.”
For Nash, if he plans on leaving Phoenix for a contender this off-season then that’s his decision to make. If he decides to stay in Phoenix, then the Spurs will loom over his and Suns’ fans memories from now until they win that elusive championship.
Nash has recently said that this offseason he will be looking to join a contender, most notably the Miami Heat. And should he decide to leave for a shot at a title, then no one can blame him. He does deserve a championship ring.