PHOENIX — Steve Nash returned to Phoenix as a member of the Lakers on Wednesday, in what was his first trip back to town since being traded to Los Angeles over the summer.
Nash played eight seasons for the Suns, and became the face of the franchise thanks to his personal style of play that had the team playing a competitive and entertaining style of basketball for the majority of his time in Phoenix.
The fans recognized him with a huge ovation during the introduction of starting lineups, after the Lakers made a respectful gesture by allowing Nash to be introduced last to his former hometown fans.
Apparently Jon Barry on the ESPN broadcast wasn’t as impressed, but everyone sitting where I was (about 24 rows up, where I shot the video) agreed that the reception given to Nash was more than appropriate.
In case it wasn’t big enough for some, however, midway through the first quarter a video tribute to Nash played on the scoreboard during a timeout, and at that moment there was no mistaking the fans’ reaction.
As soon as it began, the entire arena rose to its feet and began cheering loudly, and remained standing and applauding until the video concluded with the words “Thanks, Steve!” frozen on the screen.