Steve Nash

Steve Nash calls both sides of lockout “inevitably selfish”


Halloween night I was standing in the front yard of a friend passing out candy with other dads while our kids soaked the neighbors for teeth-rotting treats when one guy asked, “Can you explain the lockout to me?” I did. And halfway through it I realized there is no way to describe this without everyone involved sounding like greedy imbeciles.

Steve Nash gets it that we don’t get it.

Sure, we can talk percentages of basketball related income and punitive luxury tax implications, we can understand the nuances. But that doesn’t mean we really get the “why?”

Nash talked perception with the Arizona Republic.

You have two wealthy sides arguing over percentage points,” Nash said. “It’s hard for fans to understand that this is a business. I don’t blame them. If I were in their shoes, I’d be critical, frustrated or even angry. You just want to see the game you love. Both sides are arguing for inevitably selfish reasons, but also for what’s right when they are gone. It’s a big mess.”

“A big mess.” That may be the most apt description of the lockout I have heard.

Nash has tweeted (actually retweeted) criticism of Suns owner Robert Saver during the lockout. But it’s the odd bedfellows of this thing — after the lockout Saver will be dependent on Nash to get people back in the building. Nash trade rumors will swirl but it would be very hard for Saver to trade Nash because if he thought the fan reaction to the lockout was bad…

It’s just a big mess.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.