There are only five players in NBA history that have won a Most Valuable Player Award and not won an NBA Championship. One of them is 38-years old and may not have much time left to finally lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
Steve Nash may have chosen Los Angeles to facilitate his post playing career.
Steve Nash: Two-time NBA MVP, and eight-time All-Star has never even made it to the NBA Finals. Now in the twilight of his career, Nash is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has said that he is, "open to anything," in a recent interview with Ryan Ruocco and Stephen A. Smith.
Nash is looking to be paid well while still playing for a team that he thinks can contend for a title. Phoenix can give him the most money, and can go over the salary cap thanks to the "Larry Bird Exception," allowing teams to bypass the cap to re-sign their own players. Phoenix is by no means a contending team though, and it looks like Nash is on his way out.
A player of his caliber who is "open to anything," will have teams scrambling to send out offers to the Canadian superstar point guard. Nash has been linked to a number of very talented teams, including Nash's old Western Conference Rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the Ruocco and Smith interview, Nash stated that, "it would be hard to put on a Lakers jersey." These two teams have a rough history, featuring two highly contested playoff series, with the Suns coming back after being down three games to one in the 2006 Playoffs and the Lakers beating Phoenix in six games en route to Kobe Bryant's fifth champions ring in 2010.
The Lakers are coming off a playoff run where the team lost in five games to the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers have gaping hole at point guard with starter Ramon Sessions testing the free agent waters. Teaming up with Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol would strengthen the Lakers' starting lineup, and perhaps place the Lakers as frontrunners in the West.
Los Angeles is most certainly not the only option for the star point guard. The New York Knicks are looking to build on one of their best seasons in recent memory and would love to have Nash representing Gotham.
With players like Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler, a move to Madison Square looks very enticing. The Knicks also have Nash's old running buddy Amare Stoudemire, who has seen his play decline since leaving Nash behind in Phoenix. Although Nash's former Head Coach Mike D'Antoni is no longer employed in New York, Nash may see a reunion with Stoudemire as a chance to compete for an Eastern Conference title.
Another Eastern Conference possibility lies across the East River in Brooklyn. Nets' star point guard Deron Williams may be leaving for Dallas in free agency and the Nets will be hard-pressed to find talent like his to fill the new Barclays Center.
The Nets have several young and talented in players like MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez, and Anthony Morrow to name a few. However, going to Brooklyn would put Nash on a team that won 11 games less than his Phoenix team, which has young talent on par with that of the Nets. This looks like the least likely scenario for Nash, especially if Williams elects to stay with the newly moved franchise.
If Williams stays put in Brooklyn it would open a door for Nash in Dallas. Returning to the Dallas Mavericks would bring his career full-circle as he sandwiched a six year tenure with the Mavericks in between two spells with the Suns.
Waiting for him in Dallas would be another power forward that used to catch passes from him: Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki removed himself from the list of MVP's to never win a title two seasons ago and would be a big factor in a championship run for Nash. Former Phoenix mate Shawn Marion who was also part of that championship team is currently playing for Dallas as well.
Going to Dallas may be the best option for Nash, especially if they complete a move for Orlando's Dwight Howard. The championship experience of the team, combined with Nash's stellar play and Dwight Howard's athleticism could make Dallas the team to beat next season.
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