Shaq Trade: Et Tu, Steve Nash?

OK, maybe making it sound like Steve Nash betrayed Shaquille O'Neal in some way is stretching it a bit, but FanHouse reports that it was Nash who asked for a trade of the player we're now calling The Big Witness. ↵
↵⇥"I think he told him [Kerr] that if O'Neal was there, he wouldn't be around much longer," said the NBA source who requested his name not be used. "That pretty much sealed it." ↵
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↵This would be among the least surprising requests ever. Acquiring Shaq was truly the beginning of the end for the fun-and-gun. Whatever they did by removing Terry Porter and inserting Alvin Gentry at the end of the season is just a bandage to cover a gash that requires about 200 stitches. That team is no longer equipped to play the way they once did, although I will say that the pick of Earl Clark is a very D'Antoni skill set kind of guy. ↵

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↵Here's the thing, unlike the LeBron-to-NYC rumors, which are based largely on off-the-court pursuits, the Nash-to-NYC rumors have a tangible tie on the floor. Let's say the Suns come out running this season, as they did at the end of the 2008-09 campaign when they missed the playoffs. So what? The West is absolutely loaded, and with what they got for Shaq -- not to mention the very real chance that Amare Stoudemire will be unloaded -- they'll be in an absolute fight to even be in the playoff conversation. ↵

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↵And so we'll roll into All-Star Weekend during 2010 in Dallas and all the buzz will once again be on Nash leaving for the Knicks to reunite with D'Antoni. As much as Gentry might do an admirable job of implementing the whole run-and-gun bit in Phoenix, D'Antoni is the genuine article, so why settle for the "light" version when you can have the "original?" ↵

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↵For more NBA coverage, visit SportingNews.com's new NBA blog, The Baseline. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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