- Posted: 3:27 PM, June 25, 2012
The Knicks have neither – a large amount of money to offer nor D’Antoni, making them a longshot. Nash’s coach in Phoenix resigned in March after his feud with Carmelo Anthony.
If Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak have their Bird rights on July 1st, as awarded by an arbitrator, the Knicks will have a mid-level exception to dangle at Nash. However, that mid-level exception could be only $3 million – not $5 million – depending on their payroll size after Lin’s and Novak’s signings.
Either way, Nash is expected to get larger offers, especially from his club, Phoenix. Certainly, a $3 million mid-level offer won’t be competitive.
Appearing on ESPN Radio on Monday to promote his soccer tournament Wednesday in Chinatown, Nash was asked whether winning a title or being compensated financially was more important. Most athletes talk about winning a title as the only driving force but Nash didn’t go down that road.
“I definitely feel I want to be validated monetarily to an extent,’’ Nash said. “It’s still very important. I think money in many ways represents respect. For example, if you sign with a team and take half or less money, six months later they trade you. It has to be one of the factors. It’s not everything but it is important and will be one of the factors involved.’’
Tellingly, Nash did not mention Knicks coach Mike Woodson’s name during the interview. The Post reported last week that a Nash confidant said D’Antoni’s departure had made the Knicks a less serious option for him.
Asked if this were true, Nash said, “I think everyone knows I love Mike. We had some good years together. So it would’ve been kind of another factor in everything. But what’s in the past is the past. Sunday comes around, I’m going to have to look at everything with fresh eyes.’‘
Before Jeremy Lin’s rise and D’Antoni’s departure, Nash to the Knicks seemed a no-brainer. But without his former Phoenix coach and Lin being groomed as the starting point guard and their money situation still unclear as the NBA appeals the union victory on Bird rights, it does not seem the perfect match.
But Nash, a So Ho summer resident, won’t scratch them off the list.
“Yeah, It sounds like a company line but my situation right now is I’m open to anything,’’ Nash said. “I really don’t know until the 1st what concrete opportunties will be there. But I’ll definitely look at every situation comes my way Sunday and not close myself to any opportunities.’’
The Knicks will attempt to sell Nash on the club not being so far away from reigning champion Miami.
“It’s nice to have that idea, I want to win a championship,’’ Nash said. “That’s also difficult. You can turn down a ton of money for a team you think can win a championship and there’s an injury and the chemistry isn’t right and you’re traded in six months. I have to put all the things into the hat.’’