Before you say Nash will play for less money, listen to him

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It’s all over the Internet and my twitter timeline:

“Steve Nash really wants a ring and will come play for the Knicks/Heat/Lakers/Bulls/whoever for next to nothing so he can be on a winner.”

Um, you may want to ask him about that.

They did on ESPN radio Monday and Marc Berman of the New York Post was listening, and the free agent to be didn’t sound like a guy looking to just chase a ring.

“I definitely feel I want to be validated monetarily to an extent,’’ Nash said. “It’s still very important. I think money in many ways represents respect. For example, if you sign with a team and take half or less money, six months later they trade you. It has to be one of the factors. It’s not everything but it is important and will be one of the factors involved….

“It’s nice to have that idea, I want to win a championship,’’ Nash said. “That’s also difficult. You can turn down a ton of money for a team you think can win a championship and there’s an injury and the chemistry isn’t right and you’re traded in six months. I have to put all the things into the hat.”

Money = respect is pretty much how most players feel in the NBA. Nash is sticking to the company line that he has to look at all the factors in making a decision, and I don’t doubt in his case that is true. He wants to be in a place he can win. He wants to be comfortable. But he also wants some reasonable compensation. And he wants a fit on the court — is that New York where Mike D’Antoni is gone and the offense runs through Carmelo Anthony? Is that Miami where LeBron James and Dwyane Wade dominate the ball? Can you see Steve Nash and Kobe on the same team?

If you forced me to bet on a landing spot for Nash, I would still say Phoenix. If he really wanted an interesting splash, he should sign with the Pacers. But it’s pretty wide open.