Steve Nash Agrees to Rich Contract Extension, but Why Do the Phoenix Suns Want to Keep the Aging Superstar at All Costs?

National Basketball Association.

Come on, the Suns are in a rebuilding mode. From the looks of things so far, we predict they'll be only slightly more competitive next season than the Arizona Diamondbacks have been this summer. Barring a major trade, look for the Suns to be a .500 team.
So why would the team extend Nash's already-lucrative contract to a two-year deal worth $22 million and guarantee all of his $13.1 million salary for the upcoming season? The extension was announced on the team's Web site today in a  Sporting News story, which says Nash will officially divulge details on his Twitter account any minute now.
One reason for keeping the 35-year-old at all costs is, we guess, he puts fannies in the seats at US Airways Center. But Shaq put fannies in the seats; he's one of the game's biggest stars, and Sarver dealt him to Cleveland to save money. Like we should give a shit about Sarver's saving huge bucks, much less that Shaq can now help LeBron James win a championship.
Hey, we want the championship, damn it! Nobody in this town (Sarver and  GM Steve Kerr are from San Diego) gives a damn about either of these much-ballyhooed reasons.  

Okay, we're supposed believe it's a good idea to save Sarver money because he and Kerr can grab some real talent to make the Suns competitive this year. But, folks, this ain't happening.
There was so much to-do about whether the team would get Grant Hill back this year -- with reports of Sarver and Kerr flying to Orlando to beg Hill to return to Phoenix instead of joining former Suns Coach Mike D'Antoni in New York -- that we got physically ill.
We're talking about Grant Freakin' Hill here! Sure, he's a nice guy who played some great minutes last year. We love him almost as much as we love Nash (they're both a credit to sports), but the Suns' locker room isn't supposed to be a nursing home. Hill's nothing more than a glorified bench player at his old age (for the NBA) of 37. He no longer has the chops to carry a team.
Oh yeah, former St. Mary's and Arizona Wildcats standout Channing Frye is now in the Suns' stable. Frye's a decent player but by no stretch of the imagination is he a star, much less a superstar. Look up his statistics if you don't believe us.   
But back to Nash: The Sporting News story says Phoenix offered him a $20 million extension over the next couple of seasons a few weeks ago, but decided to increase the offer to reel in the two-time league MVP. Nash had been holding over the Suns' heads that he might bolt if next season's team doesn't stack up to be a contender.
Well, Stevie, it's not stacking up to be aything more than average, so it's clear that all you're about is the money. Which is fine from your standpoint; get all you can get. But we've got to wonder what Sarver and Kerr are thinking in making Nash's signing, in Kerr's words, their "top priority."
Their top priority should be landing a franchise player, because Nash's fading fast, and Amar'e Stoudemire's future's as blurry as his injured eye.

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Rick Barrs
Contact: Rick Barrs