Steve Nash’s return: Mike D’Antoni on what to expect and Alvin Gentry


PHOENIX — While Steve Nash’s return won’t be official until the lights finally come on, they’ve really been shining on him since he walked off the Lakers’ team bus.

It’ll be interesting to see if any Suns fans give Nash anything but a standing ovation, and Goran Dragic said his friend and mentor deserves it. How does Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni think Nash will handle it once he’s on the court?

“He saw his kids today and just to come back in the building for the first time, either you’ll be really good or really bad,” D’Antoni joked. “It’ll be emotional for him for sure, some great feelings here. I remember when we went to Dallas (after signing with Phoenix), it was pretty good.”

But while Nash snuck into the Suns’ equipment room to say hello to old friends, the Los Angeles Lakers coach took the podium set in the hallway of US Airways Center and discussed his feelings about the city of Phoenix, Nash’s return and friend Alvin Gentry’s departure from the Suns.

D’Antoni didn’t really want to go into detail about Gentry leaving Phoenix in what was described as a “mutual parting,” but he sort of did anyway.

“You know, it’s tough to address just because he’s a good friend, a great coach,” the former Suns head coach said. “And this business is really bad sometimes. To think you’re going to get better by firing a good coach doesn’t make any sense. But he’s fine, he’s great, he’ll bounce back up. We go on and just do your job. He’ll find a job wherever he wants.”

  • suns for life

    Steve Nash going to Lakers did not work for either side this season. We will have to wait and see what our draft picks turn into

  • Russell Suns fan

    Lakers pick will be a top 10 pick, they have no shot at the playoffs. And the Suns own the Lakers first round pick.

  • Cam

    That win made me so happy happy happy! My wife is a fakers fan so it made it even better. Go Suns.

  • Mel.

    Hm. I wonder what Lake Show for Life’s doing, right about now?

  • Scott

    Well, if “Samurai” Beasley is going to play like that, put him in and give him the ball.

    Looking at how Beasley plays under Hunter and how he played under Gentry, I can only assume Gentry did not hold him to playing defense. Beasley is playing defense for Hunter, and as Tucker said after the game, that’s the price they all must pay to get court time under Hunter.

  • Scott

    As for Clark … he looked a lot like who I thought he was. I didn’t see the double-double wunderkind.

  • Scott

    Blanks should make a new offer to the Lakers: we will take Nash back if you give us 2 first rounders and 2 second rounders. ;)

    Seriously, though, I think the Lakers could turn out to be better with Howard sidelined. Put Gasol in at center and have Clark and Jamison share PF. Then trade Howard to Cleveland for Varejao and Luke Walton.

  • Cam

    I predict that we won’t see the starters play minutes like that in the coming future. This game was about winning at all costs, player development be damned! Look for double digit minutes for Marshall and Garrett next game. Go Suns.

  • Scott

    @Cam -

    I still want to see Johnson, Marshall, Garrett, and even Zeller play.

    After he loses his jitters, I want Marshall to get some minutes against a starting NBA PG. I want to see him start to penetrate, dish, and shoot.

    I want to see Garrett play at SG and show me he can score like he’s hungry for points.

    I want to see Johnson defend, drive, rebound, and shoot.

    I want to see Zeller defend and make buckets.

    If these guys can or can’t do it, I want to know. That’s pretty much it.

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