Colangelo fine with Nash trade to LA

Arizona Sports News online

If anybody knows, Jerry Colangelo knows. The former Phoenix Suns owner and Chairman of Team USA Basketball has heard it all and seen it all.

Running a professional sports team has its highs, lows, and times in between where the public perception is less than favorable.

Welcome to Robert Sarver’s world the moment it was announced 2-time MVP Steve Nash had been traded to the rival Los Angeles Lakers for two first and two second-round draft picks, plus roughly $3 million.

Nash was being pursued by the Raptors, Knicks, Mavericks, and Nets among others when the free-agent period opened July 1. The Lakers were added to the mix after the eight-time All-Star told Sarver and upper management he’d prefer to play in LA so he could be close to his young children who live here in Phoenix.

The Phoenix fan base may not like the move, but Colangelo believes it was a shrewd move by the Suns.

“You have to realistic about the business today and trying to do something that’s in the franchise’s best interest,” Colangelo told ‘Big Guy on Sports’ Thursday afternoon. “It was possible Nash could have gone somewhere else and the Suns received nothing in terms of compensation.”

The trade comes as a happy parting between the face of the franchise who kept his mouth shut and played hard even when Phoenix wasn’t a contender and an organization who kept their star in the highest regard both on and off the court.

Colangelo, who drafted Nash with 15th overall pick in 1996 out of Santa Clara, says the future Hall-of-Famer has had to earn all his success in the league.

“As a player, he far exceeded anything anyone thought he he might have coming out of college,” Colangelo said. “He bided his time, he paid his dues, he learned his trade, and he became one of the best point guards of all-time.”

Nash, teamed with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum instantly makes LA one of the favorites in the Western Conference heading into the 2012-13 season.