The newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers, point guard Steve Nash, had his first radio interview since joining the Lakers on ESPN Radio 710 on Thursday morning. Nash played the last eight seasons for the Suns, and said a week and a half ago the rivalry with the Lakers still burned bright.
"It was a surprise, for sure. About 10 days ago, I said it would be hard for me to put on a Laker uniform," Nash said. "Being able to be a Laker after being a Sun, after trying to beat the Lakers in the playoffs all those years, the reality was it was too good an opportunity to pass up as far as my children were concerned. Fortunately for me, it's a great basketball situation."
Nash called the chance to be close to his son and two daughters his top priority, which made the Lakers a more attractive option than New York or Toronto.
Kobe Bryant and Nash spoke last week, during Bryant's basketball camp in Santa Barbara. Nash relished the chance to play with Kobe.
"For me it was important to speak to him just to make sure he was completely on board. He could visualize this as being an effective fit and being excited about it," said Nash. "I spoke to him and spoke to coach Brown and they were excited. Kobe was great, he was excited."
Nash said the addition of the pick-and-roll to the Lakers offense will be great for the spacing, and that he and Bryant could be leaders.
"He felt we were complimentary leaders. I'm more on the positive side, he's more someone who will crack the whip,." Nash said, laughing.
But what about Bryant's penchant for dominating the ball?
"Kobe's still one of the all-time great players in this game. I hope he does have the ball in his hands a lot," Nash said. "At the same time I think it does take pressure off him as someone else who can handle the ball and can get him the ball in spots and get him some easy baskets."
"He's a special player, special talent for sure. I can understand why the Lakers may be recruiting him," Nash said. "But for me to get an opportunity to play with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, that's amazing. It would be a pleasure to play with those two players."
Nash seems to be already making the right calls and saying the right things.