Steve Nash PROUD CANUCK
The Suns' point guard, who grew up in Victoria, B.C., took part in the flame-lighting ceremony at the Vancouver Olympics, then went back to lighting up the NBA
Dan Patrick:How nervous were you at the Olympics during the opening ceremonies?
Steve Nash: It was the greatest experience of my career, to represent my country in that moment on home soil. To feel the pride of all the Canadians, having been in [Vancouver] for a day and a half, it was the greatest moment I've ever experienced. So I had a lot of nerves, a lot of pride, a lot of excitement, a lot of connectivity to my fellow countrymen and women. It was spectacular.
DP:But the goal is to not to get burned by the torch, right?
SN: We had fireproof long johns on.
DP:Your outfit was flame retardant?
SN: Underneath, the sexy stuff. That was flame retardant.
DP:Yeah, but your hair was out there in the open.
SN: If the hair goes up in flames, I'm in good company.
DP:Why wasn't Rush playing the opening ceremonies?
SN: I don't know. I'm wondering if people feel like their stage act is a little rusty right now, or what.
DP:I gotta have Geddy Lee up there instead of Bryan Adams.
SN: You should have gotten yourself on the committee.
DP:I tried to, but I'm not Canadian. I was pushing for Nelly Furtado.
SN: We grew up in the same neighborhood.
DP:Do you expect to end your career in Phoenix?
SN: I do.
DP:There was a lot of speculation that Phoenix was going to trade [potential free-agent forward] Amar'e Stoudemire at the trade deadline. Do you guys ever joke about potential trades in the locker room?
SN: Not really, no. It's a sensitive subject, so we don't bring it up. We try to move on and not listen to all that stuff, because it is speculation.
DP:Why would the team shop Amar'e?
SN: I guess we're trying to save money. I think him wanting a max contract is something our ownership is having a hard time with, so I think that's what's sparked most of the trade talk.
DP:If I made you the G.M., would you get rid of Stoudemire's contract?
SN: If it's truly a basketball decision, I love Amar'e. I think he's a terrific player. He's an All-Star. So we wouldn't want to lose him. But I don't think it's just basketball we're talking about.
DP:Do you talk to [Suns G.M.] Steve Kerr about any moves? Are you consulted?
SN: I talk to Steve on occasion about the team but never about trade talks. That's not really the way we do it with the Suns. And I'm O.K. with that. If there's an opportunity to come talk to me, I'm all ears. But at the same time, I don't need to get involved.
Timberwolves point guard Jonny Flynn's team is struggling (13--44 through Sunday), but the rookie from Syracuse is having a solid season (13.8 points, 4.3 assists per game). That doesn't mean he's escaped being hazed. When I asked him who the worst offender was, Flynn was quick to respond: "Kevin Garnett. If you just walk past him the wrong way, [he'll say], 'Why you walkin' so close to me, rook?' That's the way he stays in the game and gets under people's skin."
I asked Jamie McMurray what souvenir he'd save from the Chevy he drove to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500. He told me that he was going to try to keep the whole thing and put it in his personal auto shop, though he didn't rule out eventually giving it to a museum in his hometown of Joplin, Mo. I know what I'd do if it were my car, though: cut off the top, throw a mattress in there and turn it into an old-school race car bed.
Line of the week
Charles Barkley was outspoken (shocking!) about NBA teams who sacrificed players to clear salary cap space: "It's a travesty and a disgrace that some of these teams have tanked. Those teams that don't get two [elite free agents], they're going to stink for the next five years."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Lindsey Vonn discusses using cheese as part of her rehab.
2. New Mexico coach Steve Alford on the Lobos' hot start.
THE FINE PRINT: Fox is trying to compete with NBC. This week on American Idol, contestants will have to perform a triple Lutz while singing Pants on the Ground.
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
DAVID SHERMAN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (FLYNN)
LEON BENNETT/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (BARKLEY)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (NASH)