Lakers star Steve Nash still hopeful Vancouver might get another crack at NBA
Notebook: L.A. point guard doesn't rule out being part of bid to bring basketball back to city
Steve Nash is introduced as the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers during a news conference at the team's training complex on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in El Segundo, California.
Photograph by: Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles Times/MCT
LOS ANGELES — Steve Nash was a vocal critic of the NBA's decision more than 11 years ago to give up on Vancouver as a market and allow the Grizzlies to move to Memphis.
Time hasn't completely healed that wound.
Nash has always maintained that the NBA didn't give the Vancouver market a fair shot and he remains hopeful that the city might get another chance.
"I think it's a viable market," said the Los Angeles Lakers' new point guard. "It's a challenge for a lot of markets these days. There are a lot of markets that I don't think have the resources that Vancouver does.
"The dollar is a lot stronger now and we have already gone down that road once so I think the lesson is learned and that would definitely benefit the franchise the second time around. It would be great to get a team back."
Nash, who is a part-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps, wouldn't rule out being part of a bid to bring the NBA back to Vancouver once his playing days are over.
"You never know, I would never say never," he said. "We'll see."
CAPS FAN: Speaking of the Whitecaps, Nash plans to be at Home Depot Center on Thursday night when the team meets the L.A. Galaxy in Vancouver's first ever MLS playoff game.
"Yeah, I hope to be at the game," Nash said. "Considering the team is only in its second year, I think it's a nice accomplishment to be in the playoffs."
HIGH PRAISE: Nash and Kobe Bryant were selected just two spots apart in what was a very deep 1996 NBA draft. Nash went 15th overall to the Phoenix Suns and Bryant went two spots earlier to the Charlotte Hornets, who then traded him to the Lakers.
Bryant, who spoke to the media after Tuesday morning's shootaround, is delighted to have Nash as a teammate.
"He is one of the greatest point guards of all time," Bryant said. "He's the best passing point guard that I have ever seen. He just comes and does what he has been doing his entire career."
Other active NBA players taken in that 1996 draft include Ray Allen and Marcus Camby. The Grizzlies took Shareef Abdur-Rahim third overall in that draft. Abdur-Rahim is now an assistant general manager with the Sacramento Kings.
PEACE BE WITH US: The Lakers have two players with B.C. connections in Nash, a Victoria native, and North Vancouver's Robert Sacre. A third Laker, forward Metta World Peace, seems to have fallen in love with our province.
The former Ron Artest spent considerable time in B.C. this past summer filming a movie and earlier this week couldn't say enough nice things about the area.
"I love it there, it's beautiful," he said. "I visited White Rock beach, I went to Courtenay, Hornby Island. You know how beautiful that place is? I think you all take it totally for granted. That place is unreal and I never knew it was there. It is amazing and I had a good time."
World Peace plays Detective Garlan Fincher in a made-for-TV movie called The Eleventh Victim. The movie is based on a novel by TV personality Nancy Grace. The two met when they appeared together on Dancing With The Stars and Grace lobbied to get World Peace a role in the movie.
While in Vancouver, World Peace played street soccer with some kids in east Vancouver and dropped by the CTV studios to do the local weather. His on-air delivery was like his media interviews —- unpredictable.
In discussing the 13 degree temperature in Port Hardy, World Peace said "Pretty cold, I'm assuming."
He then looked at the map of the rest of the province and added, "It's raining everywhere. It's amazing."
In discussing the provincial capital, he said: "Victoria, she sounds like she's hot, but she's actually cold."
On Twitter: Twitter.com/bradziemer
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