Steve Nash and Dwight Howard are very different players, obviously. One player stands 6’11″ and is the most physically dominating specimen the league has since since Shaq (though you can make a very compelling argument in LeBron’s favor). The other controls the tenor of the game in the palm of his hand and can make any conceivable pass on the floor. They play different positions after all.
But another difference between them: Nash handles his decisions with genuine class. Howard chose to string along Orlando for a ride they don’t deserve instead of simply making a calculated choice and sticking with it. (Even if Otis Smith did a terrible job building around his talent.) The probable solution, of course, is their age gap — 12 years. But as long as Dwight has been in the league he’s been notoriously immature.
Nash, however, issued a farewell statement to the Phoenix Suns fan base via ESPN.com:
For the last 8 seasons I’ve been blessed to play for a team and a city that has embraced me and that I have come to call home. This is a tough business and the only thing constant in life is change.
After talking with (owner) Robert (Sarver) and (president of basketball operations) Lon (Babby) we’ve agreed that it’s time for both of us to move in new directions. I approached them and asked if they would be willing to do a sign and trade deal with L.A. because it is very important to me to stay near my children and family.
They were very apprehensive and didn’t want to do it. Fortunately for me, they reconsidered. They saw that they were able to get assets for their team that will make them better, assets they would not have otherwise had and it made sense for them to do a deal that helps their team get better.
I couldn’t be more grateful to the organization and Robert in particular. I know how hard this was for him and that fact that he was able to help me and my family in this way … it means a lot and says a lot about his character. I will never forget this gesture. Above and beyond.
The Phoenix Suns are an amazing organization and fans should be excited about their future. I hope the Suns win a championship some day soon for all the amazing fans and wonderful people in the organization.
See, Dwight. That’s how you delicately handle a tough situation — and leaving a franchise that’s been your home for eight years certainly fits the bill.