This is a semi strong piece about Steve Nash taking this year’s Spurs/Suns series personal. Well, Nash said he isn’t, but his actions speak otherwise. The 36 year old came out attacking – dropping 17 in the first quarter on his way to a 33 and 10 night.
More importantly, the Suns got the W. First time the Suns have taken the first game against the Spurs in the Nash era. Again, Nash says it isn’t personal. No one believes him.
We all remember 2007 when the Suns – heavy favorites to win the title that year – lost to the Spurs in an epic six game series that had its fair share of controversy. For one, the suspension of Amare and Boris Diaw in game 5 was huge and still haunts Suns fans to this day. But game 1 stung as well. Nash suffered a huge gash on his nose late in the game and was forced to sit out crucial time late. The shot of Steve Nash sitting on the bench, blood gushing out of his nose, FUMING – not because of the blood or because of the hit that led to it, but because he was forced to sit out – is an image that really hit home for me. You see, I was a Nash doubter in 2005. Thought his MVP was a fluke. But in 2006 I started realizing just how bad ass he was – taking that undermanned and undersized Suns team to the WCF. That nose incident in 2007’s game 1 further cemented what Chuck Barkley called him at the time “Nash is a bad white boy”.
I blogged about him plenty throughout the 06 and 07 playoffs. I nicknamed him “Denzel in Training Day” because he had that “fuck all y’all I’m taking over the game” attitude/face during crucial moments that only 3 or 4 others in the league had.
So anyway, there’s the nose (and also a knee to the groin) that Nash still remembers about game 1 in 2007. A year later, the Suns were locked in another tight battle with the Spurs in game 1, this time it ended with Duncan hitting an improbable three that forced double OT. I mean, nine times out of ten Duncan taking that shot is a good thing for the Suns. That shot fell on that night and it finished the Suns.
Two heartbreaking game 1 losses in the last three years. Nash made sure this year it didn’t happen.
I had a tough summer last year. Was told/implied I wasn’t good enough by coworkers, friends, even a loved one. So during that summer, I took on Nash as inspiration and role model. I remember how in 03, everyone thought he was done. His boss let him walk. Then he went to the Suns and eveyone said the Suns overpaid for him…my dumb ass included. Then with the Suns, he won the MVP and proceeded the whup the living hell out of his former team in the playoffs that year (game 6 of that series was when he first unleashed the “Denzel in Training Day” face).
So yeah, Nash was inspiration. And this year, him taking it personally, showing no mercy… will be inspiration for another cat somewhere.