PHOENIX -- Piece-by-piece, the Sunsational show that used to reside at U.S. Airways Arena moved east to New York City. Mike D'Antoni came in 2008. Amar'e Stoudemire in 2010. And all along there has been talk -- and recently resurrected on the internet as the Suns have stumbled to a 14-19 start going into Friday's game here against the Knicks -- that Steve Nash would eventually land in New York as well.
But aside from the fact that suns owner Robert Sarver would have zero interest in delivering Nash to his rival, D'Antoni, the Knicks certainly don't have a need right now for a $10.3 million point guard who turns 37 in February. Especially not with a younger Raymond Felton owning that position right now at a much cheaper cost.
And despite the speculation that Nash could be the next star out of Phoenix, GM Lon Babby told the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro that the franchise's marquee player isn't going anywhere. And Nash has accepted that fate.
"I signed up for this," Nash said. "I'm committed to trying to build a team here . . . I'm still happy. I just want to try to win games for these fans and our team because that's the most frustrating thing."
Nash has one more year on his contract ($11.6M) before he becomes a free agent at the age of 38. Considering the fact that he does keep himself in great shape and obviously knows this system well, he certainly would be a worthwhile option as a backup point guard in 2012 if he wanted to keep playing.
But for now? Let the rumors go.
* * *
* - Donnie Walsh seemed to suggest that he didn't want to see Stoudemire get too caught up in the emotions of his comeback in Phoenix. "They're going to have feelings for you," Walsh said. "After that's over, it won't be the same. You're a New York Knick, and that's what you are."
And in regards to his statement that he plans to sign Wilson Chandler in the summer, Walsh said, "I want Wilson, it's just a matter of trying to establish the right value and [in the fall] I wasn't prepared to do that. I explained that to his agent. He knows it, Wilson knows it and I know it."
Walsh did the same thing with David Lee, essentially dangling the carrot by saying if you want to get a big contract, you have to earn it not only with personal stats, but help the team make the playoffs. Chandler is doing exactly that.
* - The third returns are in for the NBA All-Star voting and Stoudemire continues to make a surge. The gap between he and Kevin Garnett for the second starting forward spot has been reduced to 24,059. To vote, go here.