Nash could turn Raptor if Phoenix deal falls through - The Vancouver Sun

Part 2 of our interview with NBA legend and Vancouver Whitecaps co-owner Steve Nash BY IAN WALKER In the second part of our interview with Steve Nash, the Vancouver Whitecaps owner talks more about soccer, basketball and the chances of him ending his NBA career in Canada. Q: I have to ask: what's up with the charity soccer game you have planned for David Lam Park on Sept. 19? A: First and foremost it's to raise money for my local charity. The genesis of it was I had a really successful charity soccer game in New York last year and people wanted to see it again and see more of it. So we were going to do it in New York and L.A. and I thought why not do it in Vancouver? It's a great soccer town and I'd love to have another event in Vancouver. Q: I'm hearing the Houston Rockets' Yao Ming is going to be there. What about Shaq? He supposedly loves Vancouver, as you know. A: [Laughing] You never know. I can ask him. He's not the type you can pin down five or six months ahead of time. Q: The Suns are currently 3.5 games back of Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. What's the chance of you guys making a late push as the season draws to a close? A: A lot of people have counted us out and we're in a pretty dark place, but we still remain hopeful. All that's been thrown at us this year, all of the changes, lack of momentum and frankly, failure, but since the all-star break we've given ourselves a shot and I'm optimistic we can put pressure on the teams ahead of us. If we can just keep winning games we could find our way somehow. It's been tough. We had a six-game losing streak without Amare Stoudemire, and without him in the lineup we can be small at times. Q: You could potentially become a free agent this summer. As of today, where does that stand? A: Yeah, the Suns have a team option and they've made it sound like they'd like me to stay. I definitely want to judge things when the time comes and see where the franchise is going and what their plans are, but priority No. 1 would be the team moving in the right direction and staying here. Q: The biggest question on everyone's mind is the likelihood of you finishing your career in Toronto with the Raptors? A: It would be a big draw for me if Phoenix fell apart or blew the team apart or decided to go in another direction. It would be really exciting to play in my home country. A lot of international players don't get a chance to experience playing in the NBA at home so I definitely would take a long look at it. Q: You've always said your first love was soccer. Any plans of you getting out and training with your new MLS team? A: It would be fun for me to get out there and kick the ball around with them, but I don't necessarily have plans to do that. We'll see how it goes. I'm just happy to be the team's Super Fan and follow the team and hopefully take in some games. Q: Have you had a chance to talk to your brother and Whitecaps captain Martin Nash about the recent announcement? A: No, not yet. As you know the Whitecaps just got back from Africa, but I hope to speak with him soon. Q: You were born in South Africa, but moved to Victoria as a young boy. Have your off-season travels taken you back to your homeland? A: No, I haven't been back since, but I'm sure it was a fantastic trip for the boys. I've been e-mailing with Martin, but I can't wait to get a first-hand recount of their experiences. iwalker@vancouversun.com © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun