HoopsHype Steve Nash rumors

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March 24, 2015 Updates

Q: Did you know all in that he would be all-in when it came to that approach? I can't imagine it was a tough sales job when you told Steve what you wanted to do. Mike D'Antoni: "Well you know I think we both kind of pushed the envelope a little bit. It was so new back then, and everybody was really against it. Other coaches around (were against it). We were kind of going against the wind and against the prevailing philosophies. So being a newer coach here, and having a team, thank God I had the backing of the Colangelos when we first started. And we just kind of pushed it together, in the sense of, 'Well maybe we can do that. Maybe yeah, let's go.' I kept gaining more confidence in him, and vice versa. And we were able to play off each other. "To be honest with you, we could have even pushed it further. I think that just being first in the water, we didn't go to the deep end real quick. It took a while to get to the deep end. But we could have been more, a little bit better approach at that if we had the analytic backing that they're showing you today. We could have been more creative. But being the first out, I'm proud of how it went." USA Today Sports

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki joined ESPN's NBA Lockdown podcast this week. Here are some highlights from the interview. On Steve Nash retiring: “I wasn’t really surprised. I kind of knew what was going on since October, that his body didn’t let him compete anymore at the highest level, so I was just surprised by the timing, that it came out now. I think it was a relief for him, that he’s happy it’s over with. I told him already in October that I was proud of him that he had an amazing career. He overcame a lot in his career with his health and being short and white and slow and unathletic and to be one of the greatest ever is an unbelievable achievement.” Dallas Morning News

March 23, 2015 Updates

The two quickly became fast friends, and honed their games while often practicing on Friday and Saturday nights while their teammates were off doing other things. But with Nash being saddled with one injury after another, it was no surprise to Nowitzki that the 19-year veteran point guard announced his retirement this past Saturday. "I knew at the beginning of the season where this was headed,’’ Nowitzki said. "This wasn’t news for me. "He wanted to retire, really, in October.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Nash was an eight-time All-Star, three-time first team all-NBA selection, and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2005 and ’06. "Honestly for a whatever, 5-10, guy from a little town in Canada he had an amazing run,’’ Nowitzki said. "He was one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever been around in my 17 years in the league. "He always worked on his game, always worked on his health and his body, on his core strength and legs. He was just constantly working at it – he was an animal.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

I also saw the effect his actions had on his teammates, as one by one they began adopting elements of the "Nash diet," most notably Jared Dudley, who came to Phoenix as a chunky, undersized combo 3/4 and eventually slimmed down to play the 2 (even the great Shaquille O'Neal, renowned for his lack of dietary discipline, cut sugar out of his diet and ended up an All-Star MVP). ESPN.com

"I had incredibly high hopes coming here," Nash said as part of a 45-minute conversation Friday in his living room, some of which you might have already seen on SportsCenter. "I wanted to do great things in this city," he said. "And it didn't happen. But a big part of why I came here was because I wanted to be in the fire. I wanted to be judged. I wanted to be under pressure in my last chapter. I didn't want to fade off. "And in some ways, I got bit by that. But that's what I wanted. That is the way to end your career ... [playing with] the most risk and the most reward. I accept it. It's been a great experience, regardless of the noise out there." ESPN.com

"I actually feel like I'm doing great," Nash said. "The saving grace for me is that the mornings I wake up and say, 'I want to play today. Can I still do it?' ... it takes me about 30 seconds to realize, 'You can't do it.' So the answer was made for me. I just cannot do it anymore. "I had to just be honest and accept the fact that I can rehab this way for the next 10 years, and I'm not going to be in a position to help the team. So that saves me. That makes it bearable. That's made me, in some ways, kind of move past it. "There is going to be a transition here where I'm gonna have to become someone else, do something else, and that's going to be tricky. I don't want to underestimate that. But I feel pretty good about it." ESPN.com

March 22, 2015 Updates

Rockets guard Jason Terry said Nash was one of the best to ever play at his position. “He brought back the point in point guard position in our era,” Terry, who has played 16 seasons, said. “It was a time where guards were starting to become scoring guards. He was a true general on the floor. He was never selfish. He always looked to make his teammates better and he will be missed, but his mark on history will be left.” Houston Chronicle

Kevin Seraphin: Congratulations to @stevenash for his career... Thanks for being an inspiration for all of us!!… instagram.com/p/0g8fNqLomF/ Twitter @kevin_seraphin

As a bonus, in case he needs the pick-me-up, Nash can console himself with the knowledge that at least one pretty good basketball team still covets his services. League sources told ESPN.com earlier this month that LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers -- who happen to have two of the biggest Nash admirers on Earth in their front office in David Griffin and former teammate Raja Bell -- let it be known to longtime Nash agent Bill Duffy that they would love to give the old man a whirl as a short-minute backup to Kyrie Irving if Nash wanted to seek a buyout after the trade deadline from whoever had him at that point. No chance, though. He only wanted to come back -- and go out -- as a Laker. ESPN.com

The reason his retirement wasn't formally announced then? Lakers officials asked him to delay the news he broke Saturday so they could try to trade his expiring, $9.7 million contract for an asset with more staying power. The silver lining there, of course, is Nash has had some time to get used to the idea of telling the world what only family, friends and confidantes have known all season. "I actually feel like I'm doing great," Nash said. "The saving grace for me is that the mornings I wake up and say, 'I want to play today. Can I still do it?' ... it takes me about 30 seconds to realize, 'You can't do it.' So the answer was made for me. I just cannot do it anymore. "I had to just be honest and accept the fact that I can rehab this way for the next 10 years, and I'm not going to be in a position to help the team. So that saves me. That makes it bearable. That's made me, in some ways, kind of move past it. ESPN.com

"I don't hide from that: I didn't win a championship," Nash said. "If that forms people's opinions of my career or legacy or value, that's their opinion. That's not my responsibility. "I don't get caught up in legacy or where I fit in [when it comes to the point guard pantheon]. ... If I leave anything behind, I hope it's that I was a great teammate and a great competitor. If a championship is a huge component in your [definition of] success, that's fine. But it doesn't affect how much I enjoyed my career. I'll always be disappointed I didn't win a championship, for sure, but there's a lot more to life as well. "I lost the [last] battle, but I fought the battle. That's what matters most." ESPN.com

“I subscribe to the idea that an athlete dies twice,” says Nash, 41. “It’s hard. You’re going to miss it forever. You have to take some time and grieve your former self.” He does not know where exactly he stands in the mourning process. He views himself neither as the legend who captured two MVPs in Phoenix nor as the convalescent who struggled to carry his luggage in L.A. “I’m still just the kid from Canada with one scholarship offer,” Nash says. He is the Santa Clara freshman who kept getting stripped at center-court by teammate John Woolery and considered leaving until an R.A. in his dorm helped convince him to stay. He is the junior who spent his summer around Gary Payton and Jason Kidd at Cal, where a loose ball once rolled out of the gym and Payton cracked: “Let the little man go get it.” He is the senior who was nitpicked by NBA evaluators convinced he didn’t have the right specs and he didn’t come from the right place and he didn’t even walk the right way. Sports Illustrated

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