Canadian Steve Nash will make his eighth appearance at the NBA All-Star Game later this month, and his sixth as a member of the Phoenix Suns. While Nash has embodied basketball in Arizona, rumours continue to swirl regarding a possible trade that could land the veteran point guard with a contender.
"I would understand if they wanted to trade me right now and I understand if they want to keep me," said Nash. "It's a business and our team is in transition and we are not as talented as we have been in the past."
The Suns are currently third in the Pacific division and 12th in the Western Conference, three games back of the final playoff spot.
"We were out of the playoffs [last] year and we are not in the picture this year as we speak, so I would understand if they want to make moves," he added.
Nash is the fifth-oldest player in the NBA today at age 38, but that hasn't slowed him down this season. Nash is still averaging over 31 minutes a game and his field goal and three point percentages this year are career highs.
Nash is also leading the league in assists, with 10.1 per game.
"In some respects, it's hard to change," explained the two-time NBA MVP. "I've always had that underdog mentality. In some ways I've always had to prove myself, but it's nothing wild or radical or I really have a chip on my shoulder but the competitive fire is there."
Nash remains loyal to teammates in Phoenix, but that hasn't stopped fans from lobbying to see their favourite point guard moved to a playoff team with a real shot of winning a title.
"I'm flattered that people want me to succeed and frankly it'd be a lot of fun to be on a contender but it's not really in my place to ask for a trade," expressed Nash.
"I feel a sense of loyalty to my teammates, the franchise and the fans so if they tell me to move on, or as potentially as a free agent and a better situation came, that's different but right now I'm really happy to be part of the team and love my teammates and want the best for them when I'm under contract."
Nash's contract runs out at the end of the season, leading many to wonder if he will choose to leave the desert for greener pastures.
"I have no idea what free agency is going to be like," admitted Nash. "I haven't thought about moving on. I still feel a close kinship and a feeling for this franchise. I really don't know what to expect this summer."
-With files from CTV's Jason Pires