It has been a roller coaster ride of a season in Phoenix. The Suns got off to a red hot start and were one of the best teams, not only in the Western Conference, but in the entire NBA early on in the season. They started 14-3 and people in Phoenix were giddy that they could once again be the fun, exciting team that they were a few years ago under Mike D’Antoni. However, after their hot start, they cooled off significantly, dropped 18 of 30 games, and the rumors about a possible Amar’e Stoudemire trade started to run rampant for the second straight year in the Valley. Despite the trade rumors, the Suns are playing very well again as they have won five of their last six games with wins coming in Denver, Houston, New Orleans, Sacramento and at home against Dallas. Steve Nash has been one of the reasons for their success. Nash has been brilliant facilitating the offense and he is playing every bit like the All Star that he is. Another reason for their success is the play of the guy at the center of the trade rumors, Amare Stoudemire. STAT has led the team in scoring in each of the past six games and is probably making the Suns think twice about dealing away the guy who is the cornerstone of the franchise and the starting center in the 2010 All Star game.
Steve Nash joined KTAR in Phoenix with Gambo and Ash to talk about whether or not he wants the Suns to keep Amare Stoudemire, whether or not he wants the team to make a move to improve the team at the trade deadline, and what it’s going to be like for him to return to Dallas for the All-Star game.
On whether or not he wants the Suns to keep Amare Stoudemire:
“Of course. He’s been a huge part of our team and our franchise. We want to see how good this team can be especially after playing so well lately. I’ve always been of the opinion that this trade situation is predicated on the math. On his wanting an extension, to have the maximum contract and our ownership group not feeling comfortable in giving out a max deal. I’m not really sure where it stands now and I’m not really sure where we’re gonna go but as far as if we’re talking about pure do we want Amar’e to stay and be a part of this basketball team? Of course we do.”
On whether they are the team that started 14-3, the team that stumbled after that or the team that has won five of six games or somewhere in between:
“I think the truth probably lies somewhere in between. But I think the 14-3 start and our recent play has shown that we have the potential to improve into a team that maybe can continue to perform at the level like we have recently or like we did at the start of the season. That’s kinda what we’re striving for is to get more consistency at both ends of the floor and continue to build ourselves into a team that can contend. It’s interesting in the West. You win a couple of games and you’re climbing up the ladder. You lose a couple of games and you’re out of the playoff picture. It’s really tight, difficult, and we need to continue to raise our level of play if we wanna be in the playoffs let alone contend.”
On whether or not he wants the team to make an addition at the deadline:
“I mean, everyone wants to add a piece so if we can add a piece that makes the team better, then great. Generally we really love playing together, we think we’re on to something and it has a chance to get better. I think if you ask everyone do you wanna play it out together, we’d all to a man say of course we do. We love playing together and we’ve had some success recently that we can build on. If there’s a piece that can fall into our lap you always have to have your eyes and ears open.”
On whether or not he has ever gotten to play basketball in a football stadium:
“No I haven’t. It’s probably the biggest crowd ever for a basketball game. If that’s the case or even if it’s not it’s a pretty phenomenal experience to get to play in front of that many people. As basketball players we don’t get to play in football stadiums that are sold out ever so that’s gonna be exciting. And then to go back to Dallas is will be a lot of fun for me. It was obviously a very important, impressionable six years of my career there in Dallas. Had a lot of great times and the fans were terrific to me so it’ll be fun to go back as an All Star.”
On who he likes in the 2010 World Cup:
“I think Spain and Brazil are the two top teams, but being that my family is English, I’m always rooting for them and I think they’ve got the most talent that they have had in a long time. They’re my dark horse.”