Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Freaking Lakers? Talk about a gut punch. After all these years talking about his love for the fans, being Mr. Old School, expressing loyalty and what not. All a bunch of noise.

To be clear, I don't blame Steve Nash for leaving Phoenix. It's pretty obvious by the paltry offer the Suns (reportedly) made, they had no intention of bringing him back despite repeated assurances that they wanted him back.

Nash has EARNED the right to leave. No question.

But the Los Angeles Freaking Lakers?

Fans outside of Phoenix might not get it, but there is NO OTHER team more hated than the Lakers. This isn't a rivalry in the sense that there's mutual distaste. This is a full-on, one-sided inferiority complex stemming from the first postseason meeting in 1970. (All the gory details here).

It's always been the Lakers with their smug, entitled fans and far more talented players that have sat just a few hours to the west lording their superiority over their lesser desert cousins.

These are painful scars for Phoenix fans.

These are the kinds of deep-seated resentments that only years of therapy can save from a lifetime of hard drinking and self destructive behaviors.

The Suns were the first pro team to come to Phoenix (thanks, Jerry!) and the Lakers are their oldest enemy.

For Steve Nash to pick the Purple and Gold as his final uniform is a knife to the back of those fans who embraced his return after being discarded by Dallas.

Nash is spinning this as wanting to be close to his kids. I don't buy that. He can be in New York during the offseason, but can't pay to fly his kids to New York or Toronto during the rest of the year? No. This decision is about his post-playing career and his desire to be in L.A.

In time, the pain will diminish but when Steve Nash takes the U.S. Airways Center floor next season as an L.A. Laker, he will be greeted with heated boos and not the standing ovation he would have otherwise received had he made any decision other than the Los Angeles Freaking Lakers.

As for the Suns front office, they don't know any better.

Lance Blanks. Lon Babby. They are not from around here. They have no connection to the history of this town. They made a lawyerly decision to get the best deal possible.

They made a transaction that netted two first round picks and two second round picks from a team that won't be anywhere close to the lottery when those picks come due. But that transaction cost them a chance to build a relationship with their fans.

I don't know if this is an Unforgivable Sin, but the Suns have a long, long road to redemption.

[UPDATE by Seth Pollack, 07/04/12 7:09 PM MST ]

Link to Nash's CAREFULLY crafted statement on The Decision.

Well Suns fans, at least it wasn’t San Antonio. Yet many Phoenix fans’ Fourth of July was ruined this evening when reports surfaced that Phoenix will trade Steve Nash to the Los Angeles...

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Steve Nash is headed to Hollywood.

The Steve Nash era of Phoenix Suns basketball is over.

Steve Nash is going from 7SOL to Showtime, as reports today have surfaced that Nash is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal that will send multiple draft picks back to the Suns. The decision by both Nash and Suns management/ownership will be a point of great contention as this moves sends one of the best and most popular Suns of all-time to arguably their most bitter rival.

The news of the move was originally broken by John Gambadoro of KTAR - 620 AM through a series of tweets this afternoon.

Suns will get multiple picks from the Lakers, had been talk earlier of two first rounders so my belief is that it is at least the two 1sts

— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) July 5, 2012

Suns will get multiple picks from the Lakers, had been talk earlier of two first rounders so my belief is that it is at least the two 1sts

— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) July 5, 2012

Multiple outlets are confirming the story. Nash is gone.

More details to follow as soon as more information (e.g. specific details of the deal, comments from the Suns, Nash, and Lakers) becomes available.

Paul Coro from the Arizona Republic reports that the Suns will receive a total of 4 picks from the Lakers in compensation for facilitating the sign and trade.

In the Nash sign-and-trade, the #Suns will get 2013 & 2015 first-round picks and 2013 & 2014 second-round picks.

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) July 5, 2012

Initial Reaction - What are your thoughts?

  1377 votes | Results

Sunday and Monday were quiet. Aside from the implications of the biggest name in free agency, Deron Williams, and his choice affecting Steve Nash, there wasn’t much news dealing with the...

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Apr 28, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert (21) during the first half of game one in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

When it rains, it pours. First, new of Eric Gordon wanting the Suns.

Now, it seems that New York might be willing to give us Iman Shumpert for the right to pay Steve Nash a bucket of money.


Well well... Iman Shumpert would be a VERY nice long-term asset in return for losing Nash, who was leaving anyway.

More to be added later, as the story unfolds.

First reported by Alan Hahn, a Knicks beat writer, and further delved into by Marc Stein, a friend of Nash in the media business. Toronto and Dallas remain in the hunt, but the Knicks are #1.

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