x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Steve Nash move to Los Angeles Lakers a match made in good time

Steve Nash has never won the NBA title and the ageing Los Angeles Lakers his qualities and experience more than ever.

Steve Nash, No 13, has spent eight seasons at the Phoenix Suns but never won the NBA title. Christian Petersen / Getty Images
Steve Nash, No 13, has spent eight seasons at the Phoenix Suns but never won the NBA title. Christian Petersen / Getty Images

A few days ago, the Los Angeles Lakers appeared a spent force and Steve Nash seemed likely to end his distinguished career in the NBA backwater that is Toronto.

Those assumptions were turned on their heads when the Lakers and Phoenix Suns agreed on a deal to send the ageing-but-elite point guard to LA for a pile of draft choices.

The immediate ramifications? The Lakers, and Nash, again become relevant in any conversation about "championship contenders".

For all his brilliance, Nash, 38, has never won a championship, nor even played for one. He might have joined the Miami Heat, who had some interest in him, for a run at a ring, but he would have been more marginalised there than he will be in the Staples Center, playing with Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers have desperate need of a player like Nash to run their offence. Bryant has been the de facto playmaker for most of a decade, but he is almost 34 and can save energy by having Nash get him easy shots. Pau Gasol, who withered on the vine in the first year of Mike Brown's tenure as coach, should benefit from easy pick-and-roll baskets created by Nash.

What appeared to be the dawn of dominance by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference no longer is assured. Not with Nash whipping the ball to Andrew Bynum, Gasol and Bryant.

The Lakers are a polarising team, but ownership did well to make a bold move, hoping Nash has enough left in him to win a championship for them, and himself.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae

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