Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Nash calls Nets an 'exciting opportunity'
Steve Nash is ready to get this whole free agency thing going.
The All-Star point guard will probably be wooed by more than a few teams once midnight arrives on Sunday and free agency kicks off. If the Nets are among those squads inquiring about his services, Nash will be all ears.
"Sure," he said not long ago before his Steve Nash Foundation Showdown soccer game at Sara D. Roosevelt park in Lower Manhattan. "Another exciting opportunity, a brand new stadium, a very passionate and resourceful owner. So it’s an exciting opportunity."
Nash, who resides in Manhattan in the offseason, actually is a frequent visitor to the borough located just across the East River from here.
"Yeah, I have friends in Brooklyn," he said. "I get over there a lot. Brooklyn is great. Brooklyn is beautiful, so I think a lot of guys are going to find out about Brooklyn now that they’ve got a team there."
Of course, the Nets aren't the only team that calls New York home. Nash indicated he'd be open to playing for the Knicks as well, and said he sit down and have a chat with them if they appealed to him.
"I would think I’d meet with them if they’re interested," Nash said. "So we’ll see what happens Sunday. But I guess I’m looking forward to seeing what teams are interested and what they have to say."
Ok, Ok. But which team has the better opportunity to win immediately?
"It depends," Nash said. "Right now, the Knicks. Maybe in a few years, the Nets have a chance. They have an owner who’s extremely passionate about it. So we’ll see."
So what's the biggest factor in deciding where he's headed?
"There’s not really one important thing," Nash said. "There’s so many, between family, the environment, the team, a chance to win, contract. So when you try to reconcile all those factors, that’s when you can rank the situations that fit you best."
Nash, as one might imagine, said Phoenix still has a shot at re-signing him.
"Yeah, for sure," he said. "Phoenix has been my home for the last eight years. It’s a very important place to me and I’m a Phoenix Sun. So I still am to this day, so they definitely are still possible. We’ll see what happens."
The native Canadian wouldn't rule out taking his talents to Toronto, either.
"I think you can make a case for every place," Nash said. "Toronto being home, being the general ambassador for kind of basketball, trying to move the game foward in Canada and help that franchise move forward would be exciting, too. You can go down the line of teams and possibilites and list a bunch of pros.
"So it will be interesting to see what actually transpires on the first and let’s see how they rank in my mind."
As for his old coach Mike D'Antoni, who resigned late in the season, Nash wasn't pleased with the way things ended here with the Knicks.
"It was a shame," he said. "He never really got a great opportunity. The team was constantly in flux. Amar’e [Stoudemire] and Carmelo [Anthony] didn’t get to play much together and therefore didn’t get much of a chance to build a rapport together. So it was a shame. He didn’t get much time with the full roster."