As SportsRadioInterviews.com documented, Steve Nash recently appeared on KTAR in Phoenix to talk to hosts Burns and Gambo about his decision to leave the Suns for the Lakers in free agency last month. The two-time MVP admitted that prior to the free agent period, he was still considering re-signing with Phoenix, and didn't view the Lakers as an option. Here are a few highlights from the conversation:
On whether he expected the regular season finale to be the last time he wore a Suns uniform:
"Not at all. I wanted to come back, to be honest. One, primarily with my children being in Phoenix, but second, I felt dissatisfied with the last two seasons, not being in the playoffs. And I felt a big part of me wanted to leave the franchise in a better place than it was the last two seasons, and be a part of moving it forward. So not at all, I didn’t know for sure that I would be moving on and in many ways was hoping to come back."
On when he started to shift his focus from the Suns to other potential destinations:
"It started to become apparent in June, and then I guess you could say the writing was on the wall. But I never really gave up on it until free agency actually came and I realized that there wasn’t really an offer and that they wanted to go in another direction. So it wasn’t till late in the game, and it just all kind of came to light at that point."
On the Lakers' unexpected interest in him:
"It was completely out of the blue. Even though you’re not allowed to talk to teams, you kind of know what teams are interested and to a certain degree you can kind of guess what’s going to happen. But the Lakers weren’t an option. I didn’t even realize they had a trade exception for Lamar Odom. There wasn’t really any talk, there wasn’t anything my agent hadn’t spoken about as an option, and then they called shortly after midnight on the 1st and the door swung open."
On deciding to play for the Lakers:
"Going to L.A. was not an easy thing. I think I said a week before free agency it would be hard to put on a Lakers jersey, and I meant that. We’ve gone through some playoff battles and they’re a rival and an enemy to some of the Suns fans, but at the end of the day the Suns were moving in a new direction and in some ways I felt like I couldn’t cut off my nose to spite my face. Chance to go to Los Angeles, be as close as possible to the kids, primarily. And then other than that, a chance to win, to live in a new place and all the things that come with that as well."
On where he'd be playing if Suns owner Robert Sarver hadn't agreed to do a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers:
"It would’ve been Toronto or New York. Those were the two next teams, and I don’t know. I would’ve crossed that bridge had the Lakers situation fell through."