By Josh Kramer
9,916 assists. Eight All-Star Games. Two MVP’s. And it all comes down to this. The man who made the 50-40-90 term (50% from the field, 40% from three-point range, 90% from the free throw line) relevant is going for the only number that matters. One. As in “one” championship. Just ask the “King” what that feels like.
In a shocking twist of events, Steve Nash was shipped off in a sign and trade to the Lakers yesterday to join forces with Kobe Bryant. Go figure. Heading into this offseason, it seemed unless the Lakers won the “Dwight Howard Sweepstakes (Soap Opera),” Kobe Bryant’s pursuit of number six would be all for not. Now winning the “Dwight Howard Sweepstakes” might just be a cherry on top. Kobe is coming for Jordan’s six.
I guess good things happen to those who wait (whether the wait was on purpose or not). David Stern could not step in the way this time. The Lakers are an instant title contender with or without the one people call Superman. Despite being 38-years-old, there is still no player that runs a more effective high pick and roll than Steve Nash. Though Rajon Rondo averaged more assists per game last season, who would you rather have shooting from the perimeter (Nash shot 53% from the floor last season)?
In addition, Kobe can now take a deep breath a couple of times down the floor a night with a floor general to relieve some responsibility. He does not have to be the end all be all on every possession for the first time since the “Shaqtus” was forced out of LA. This will likely lead to a fresher, more effective Kobe Bryant late in games and late in the season. Last season, Bryant shot his lowest percentage from the field (43%) since 1997/1998. Despite just missing the playoffs, the Phoenix Suns had the sixth best field-goal percentage in the NBA and were 8th in the League in scoring. This was largely due to Nash running the point and setting his teammates up for high percentage shots. Nash not only has the ability to create for himself, he can create for others.
Steve Nash gave the Lakers the business in both 2006 and 2007 in helping the Suns bounce LA from the playoffs. Now he is joining forces with the hated divisional rival. The NBA is a funny game. It is truly amazing how transactions work at times. Nobody wants to win more than Kobe Bryant. Steve Nash apparently wants to win in the worst way as well.
The best backcourt in basketball now belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, with a combined three MVP Awards between the two. Kobe may get number six, while Steve Nash may finally get number one in 2012/2013.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.