Veteran point guard Steve Nash said he is still adjusting to the idea of leaving the Phoenix Suns for one of his long-time rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, reports the Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro.
“I never saw this coming so I’m still not completely through the process of realizing this is a reality,” Nash told Coro.
Once Nash became a free agent, the Suns did not make a contact offer to him, Coro reports.
“It stung a little bit,” Nash told Coro. “At the same time, I can’t fault them. They made a strong move to cut ties and move forward and I get it. Goran (Dragic, a former Nash backup who Phoenix gave a four-year, $30 million deal) is a terrific signing. If they get (Eric) Gordon (by New Orleans not matching a four-year, $58 million offer sheet), they’d have a great backcourt for years.
“A head’s up that they were moving on would’ve meant a lot to me. I don’t have any problem with them going in a new direction. It takes guts to do it. They got younger and more talented. I’m excited for them and Suns fans that they’ll be back in there.”
Nash said he was considering the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks until the Lakers contacted him on Sunday. The team gave him a three-year contract and the chance to contend for a title, but the key factor may have been that moving to Los Angeles will allow Nash to be close to his children. His 7-year-old daughters and 20-month-old son live in the area with his ex-wife, Coro reports.
“I definitely upset some Suns fans and turned down some money but the opportunity with the kids was too good to pass up,” Nash told Coro. “I was more lucky than anything that (the Lakers) are a contender.
“I got everything I wanted if you look at the black and white. But if it wasn’t for the kids and if the Suns weren’t going in a new direction, I don’t think the deal happens. Once the Suns went in a new direction, my next priority was to exhaust the opportunity to be closer to the kids.”