The Phoenix Suns and Alvin Gentry are in a pretty tough spot. On the one hand, the Suns are trying to win games; their goal coming into the season was to be a playoff team and Gentry has to find a way to motivate his players to do just that. On the other hand, the Suns are in a transition period and they aren’t good enough to be a playoff team. The last thing you want to be in the NBA is a mediocre team, a team stuck in limbo without a clear direction. That is the reality of Phoenix’s situation right now. They have hesitated on a very important decision for the franchise and it’s time for them to stop waffling and strike the deal. While it’s a very difficult decision to make, the Suns should trade Steve Nash while he still has some value. Phoenix needs to get pieces for their future. Nash is the team’s best and most marketable player, but he also happens to be 38-years-old. He will be a free agent at the end of this season and his future is not with the Suns. Alvin Gentry joined XTRA 910 in Phoenix with Bickley and MJ to talk about how nice it was to get a win over the Lakers on Sunday, what he thinks of Jeremy Lin’s success, whether Mike D’Antoni’s system is the reason for Lin’s success this year, how he feels about his team heading into the All-Star break, and the possibility of trading Steve Nash.
How nice it was to get a win over the Lakers:
“Oh yeah. Anytime. I know it’s been said that Kobe (Bryant) has this passion or hate for us but you know we’re not exactly in love with them either so the feeling is pretty mutual there. We haven’t had the success that we have had in the past against them but I thought our guys did a great job of battling against them last night and competing like crazy.”
What he thinks of Jeremy Lin’s success:
“It’s been an unbelievable story Bick. The funny thing about it is that our guys ask on the way out, our guys ask at halftime, and everybody wants to know what happened, what this kid did, or how he did it, or what went on, and I love the fact that everybody is just picking his game apart. I told someone the other day if a guy can give you 28 points, 14 assists, and five steals who cares about the seven turnovers.”
Whether the system is the reason for Lin’s success:
“The system? So it’s got to be the system with Peyton Manning and it’s got to be the system with Tom Brady. With Derek Jeter it’s got to be the system too. The guy is proving and he has done a great job here. The system is supposed to take advantage of what you do best and Mike (D’Antoni) has done a great job of implementing him in a situation where he’s handling the ball, he’s done great things, and he’s winning games. The whole purpose of the thing is to win games and they’ve won nine out of ten that he has played in.”
How he feels about his team and the way they have played so far this year:
“First of all I think we have some really good pieces. Marcin (Gortat) is playing great. He’s really playing well. Steve is playing great, Grant (Hill) is doing a good job for us defensively, we’ve had some other guys like Jared Dudley step up, we’re there. I think the thing that we struggle with is consistency like I said all along. I think we have to be consistent and have some consistency off our bench. If we do that we’ve been able to compete with most of the teams. We haven’t played the Miami’s or anything like that but we’ve been able to compete. We have not been able to finish games. We have to find a way to do that for 48 minutes. Not 32 minutes, 38 minutes, or 42 minutes, we’ve got to be able to do it for 48 and that’s where we’ve struggled a little bit.”
On the possibility of trading Steve Nash:
“First of all I don’t have any authority as far as trading or keeping Steve so I don’t spend very much time thinking about that. That will be something that management and Steve will have to deal with. The only thing that I try to concentrate on is the guys we have on our team right now, how we can get them better, and how we can get them playing at the highest level. That’s where all of my energy goes.