Kobe Bryant is not getting any younger. The man has been in the NBA for 16 years; in the post season for all but one of them. Only twice was he unable to lead the team out of the first round. He’s made it to the NBA Finals seven times winning five.
The point is Kobe has played a lot of basketball. If he is going to make it back to the NBA Finals and win a title one more time he is going to need some help. Who better to help him than the man that led the team that kicked Kobe’s Lakers out of the first round two years in a row?
I’m talking about Steve Nash of course.
The Suns for some odd reason did not make much of an attempt to keep one of the best guards in the game ($6 million a year for two more years). There were reports that the Toronto Raptors were willing to offer him $12 million a year on a multi-year contract.
An aging Nash (who was drafted the same year as Kobe Bryant; 1996) decided it was time to sign with a contender. His deal with Los Angeles is expected to be worth over $25 million for three years. In return, Phoenix will get two first round picks (2013 and ’15), two second round picks (’13 and ’14), and $3 million.
What makes this deal great is not that the Lakers got better and the Suns got so many picks. Nash recently got divorced and his kids live with their mother in Phoenix. He did not want to move far away from them so when it was clear he and the Suns were not going to come to an agreement he asked for a sign and trade deal with L.A. (a one hour plane ride away) so he could remain close to the kids.
While the team did not want to do it at first, they relented and gave Nash what he asked for. It’s kind of nice to see that the business of the game does not always get in the way of being human.