Despite the Lakers' struggles, Steve Nash says he's happy he came to Los Angeles. His team is a surprising 28-30 and currently not in a playoff position, but Nash told USA Today, "Ten times out of 10, I make the same decision again."
He agreed to go to Los Angeles instead of the Knicks in large part to be close to his family, an admirable choice. But surely he also thought a real shot at a championship would be part of the package.
The list of NBA MVPs without a ring is famously short; Nash is one of just five on it. The 24-year-old Derrick Rose will have ample time to cross his name off once his knee heals, and Allen Iverson is widely credited with taking his 76ers teams further than anyone thought they would go. But Karl Malone and Charles Barkley are remembered largely for their inability to nab a championship, and Nash has a good chance of being grouped in with them. Nash's legacy may end up being that of a regular-season stud but a playoff dud. He teamed with a variety of top stars and champions (including Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Shawn Marion, Shaquille O'Neal and now Kobe Bryant) but couldn't win a ring with any of them.
Barkley finished his career in Houston, while Malone went to the Lakers for his final year. Each joined a recent champion in the hope of finally getting an elusive ring. Sound familiar? Nash's window isn't closed yet, but he's running out of time to cross his name off an unfortunate list.
- Elliot Smilowitz