I think some of you heard my phone-post cry of displeasure upon learning that my future husband Steve Nash was leaving the Mavericks for the Suns. Normally I'm a very big proponent of loyalty over money. But I don't blame Steve, and here's why.
- We all know how Mark Cuban feels about money. The man's giving away a million dollars on TV just because he feels like it (and because he likes the attention). He's given huge overpaid contracts to other players (I'm looking at you, Shawn Bradley); why not one to supposedly one of his favorite players, who's been one of the team leaders for several years?
- Cuban said re-signing Steve was a priority; he didn't say keeping him was. If it's looking like you're just going to get traded to the *gack* Lakers or the black hole that is the Warriors, why not pick your own place to go, since you're going to have to leave anyway? Especially when the team really wants you and you already love the city?
- The player-haters have jumped all over this contract, saying Steve's getting way overpaid and he's already 30. Yes, 30's older, but since when is it ancient? How did everyone so suddenly go to convinced that Steve's nearly done? And nearly everyone gets overpaid eventually because they start out underpaid. No one's (or rather, no one with good sense) going to give you a max contract before you've proven yourself, so later contracts are frequently rewards for the work you've done as much as incentive to do more. I'm just sayin'.
- Everyone likes to rail about the lack of player loyalty, but what about front-office loyalty? I believe Steve really did want to stay with the Mavs. And I think he might have stayed for less money if it hadn't looked like he was going to be traded. It's not fair of owners to bitch about players acting like it's a business when the owners are the ones continually proving that it is a business.