Frustrated Steve Nash Tired of Talking, Urges Suns to 'Keep Fighting'
DENVER -- It's almost as if Steve Nash is ready to crank a certain Journey song in the Phoenix locker room.
"It's like we stop believing,'' said the Suns guard, saying when they "lose the momentum'' in games they "go downhill fast.''
How fast did the Suns go downhill Tuesday night at Denver? Think of the 1970 documentary, "The Man Who Skied Down Everest.''
The Suns held a 32-18 lead late the first quarter. They ended up being crushed 132-98.
Nash wasn't happy.
"We can talk all day long,'' said Nash, whose Suns lost for the 12th time in 16 games to fall to 15-21. "It doesn't change anything if you don't play hard and play well. I think at times we've not played with the competitive effort that we need. It feels like there's a little lack of cohesion and chemistry. I don't feel like we're getting that performance and effort that we're accustomed to and that's disappointing."
Nash was asked if needs to talk to the team, being its undisputed leader.
"We've had plenty of talks,'' Nash said. "If we keep talking, I think that lends itself to stupidity. We've got to go out there and demand more of ourselves and go out there and play harder and try to win even if it's not pretty."
Perhaps the only positive news for Nash on Tuesday was he was playing in a city where all the attention about a guy who could get traded is on Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony. There have been rumors about Nash being moved, but a plugged-in NBA executive said Tuesday the Suns now don't want to trade Nash, although the executive couldn't guarantee something could change by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
The Dec. 18 trade in which the Suns dealt Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark to Orlando for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus has yet to make any kind of impact. Phoenix is 3-8 since the deal.
"You either grab yourself by your boot straps and you pull yourself out by competing like crazy or you don't,'' said Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry. "Those are the only two options that you have. There is not anything else out there. You either compete, you find a way to make things better or you have a pity party for yourself.''
It's been a long time since Nash, a two-time MVP whose contract runs through next season, has experienced losing like this. The last time he was on a losing outfit was with the 40-42 Dallas Mavericks in 1999-2000.
"It's been a long time and it's not fun,'' Nash said. "But we can't give up. We've got to keep fighting and see what we can salvage. If you don't give up, you never know what can happen. If you give up, we know what will happen. So we have to keep fighting and find a way to create some positive energy.
"We're all concerned and disappointed. We've got to keep fighting. That all we can do. You can't cry about it. You've got to keep fighting.''
It is indeed time for the Suns to make sure they don't stop believing.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson