Steve Nash admits embarrassing attempt to lure in Kevin Garnett to Suns
Back in the mid-2000s, the Phoenix Suns were a powerhouse to be reckoned with, but Steve Nash could have stolen the Boston Celtics’ thunder and morph his team into a superteam by luring in Kevin Garnett.
Back in the 2007 offseason, Garnett was unhappy in Minnesota, having fallen shy of the postseason for a third straight campaign. Nash was among those interested in bringing him in, but had to embarrassingly admit the Suns couldn’t pay him his worth:
The dime maestro shared the anecdote of how he once pitched Garnett to come to the Suns, even knowing he had to take way less to join him:
“Yeah, there was a time ownership asked me to call [Garnett] and recruit him, would have been an incredible player to play with, but we didn’t have a full cap slot that other teams did, so in a sense — and Kevin tells this story too — that I told him ‘I’m kind of embarrassed to call you because you’d have to take a pay cut to come here, but we’d love to have you,’ so we did have that conversation.”
This is more common than most think, as franchise players are often asked to bring in some of their superstar counterparts. The fact that Nash was asked to do so without possessing the right cap space to sign him, however, is bewildering.
But if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
At the time, Nash was playing alongside Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, and Amar’e Stoudemire. To add Garnett to that mix would mean the Suns would have been able to get over the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs — two of their biggest rivals back then.
Nash admitted the deal was never really all that close to happening, even though Garnett said he considered the Suns, Celtics, and Lakers as his potential destinations.
“He respected my honesty, the reality is we just, he would’ve had to take a much lower salary so it was never really close to happening, I don’t think,” said Nash.
Garnett would go on to make the right decision, as he joined Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in Beantown, where they’d win a championship that very season — the lone ring of his NBA career.