El-Segundo-Point guard Stave Nash has made it a habit throughout his brilliant NBA career of burning the Los Angeles Lakers. One game it could be trying to contain Nash’s deft handling of the pick-and-roll that would drive the Lakers nuts. Nash’s warp speed and overall playmaking abilities have put the Lakers in a chaotic state of mind in others.
His streaky shooting touch, particularly from three-point range, has struck daggers in the heart of Lakerland for years. The Lakers don’t have to worry anymore about the pesky Nash making their lives miserable. The enemy is now a comrade.
Nash officially became a member of the Lakers organization Tuesday, coming over from Western Conference Pacific Division rival Phoenix in a trade that sends two first round draft picks to the Suns in 2013 and 2015. Phoenix will also get two second round picks next year and 2014 as part of the negotiated deal.
What the Lakers pick up in Nash is an eight-time NBA All-Star and two-time regular season league MVP, a true game-changer who is expected to push his new team back to championship level. After being whittled out of the second round of the NBA playoffs this spring by the young guns from Oklahoma City by picking up Nash, the Lakers have made a clear statement to the Thunder and the rest of the league that they’re ready to rumble.
With a veteran lineup, it’s clear the Lakers want to win now by adding Nash to the roster. Nash came into the league the same year Kobe Bryant was drafted, and is still rolling along like a young gun himself, averaging 14.5 points a game in his career and ranking fifth on the all-time assist list.
What the Lakers have lacked in floor leadership the last couple of years, they seemed to have found it in Nash, who once led Phoenix from 0-3 playoff series deficit to bounce the Purple and Gold out of the postseason. Looking dapper in a dark, pinstripe suit, Nash made his first official appearance as a Laker in front of a throng of reporters at a noon press conference at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo.
The only player in NBA history to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line in four different seasons, Nash said
“Wow. It’s an event I never foresaw in my life,” Nash said. “It was an incredible opportunity for me.