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Likely no more Suns for Nash

Apr 27 2012

Steve Nash of Victoria can visualize a basketball court spatially like few before him.

But now he can't see his future. Yet he knows he has one in the game, for at least a while longer.

“I'd like to play three more years. I'm flexible,” said the two-time NBA MVP, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and has likely played his final game for the Phoenix Suns.

But the 38-year-old admits he doesn't know where he will play out his career.

“I have no clue and couldn't predict,” he told the media, as to his final destination.

“I have to sit down and consider my options. I'm in no rush. It's important to take my time. There is a lot of speculation at this point.”

There are as many theories, it seems, as teams in the NBA. Will the Arbutus Junior High and St. Michaels University School graduate go to Miami to complete perhaps the greatest starting line-up in NBA history? Or will he join the New York Knicks in his beloved Manhattan?

The Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard have been mentioned as a good fit and even the L.A. Lakers and a dream backcourt of Kobe and Nash. Always in the speculative mix, because Nash is a proud Canadian Olympian who captained the national team for nine years, are the Toronto Raptors.

“I appreciate the [media and fan] interest,” said Nash, one of the most intuitive point guards in hoops history.

“It's flattering.”

There is still a remote possibility of returning to Phoenix, a lacking team that Nash almost heroically willed to a 33-33 record this season.

“I couldn't put a [percentage] number on it,” said Nash, who 20 years ago led SMUS to the 1992 B.C. high school title.

“If I return, I want the [Suns] team to be as competitive as possible. The team could use more playmakers. I'm used to playing in the playoffs. But it was a rewarding year. We took it about as far as we could this year. We hung in there.”

With no post-season play in Phoenix this year, and Nash's impending free agency well known, the Suns fans chanted his name Wednesday night near the end of what may have been his final game in the desert.

He was on the bench at the time and came back into the game for essentially a curtain call few more seconds of play before looking up and pointing his finger to acknowledge the crowd. It was a touching moment.

“It's amazing to get that reception and support,” said Nash.

“It was very special and not something I imagined or asked for. The fans here have been phenomenal. I feel like a very lucky guy. I'm not the most sentimental person on the world and shy away from [that sort of thing] rather than soak it up and get emotional.”

Nash admitted: “Being unattached feels strange. The eight years [in Phoenix] have flown by.”

Now looms the closing chapter of the greatest basketball playing career ever recorded by a Canadian.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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