The NBA lockout isn't officially and finally over yet. That won't happen until the new CBA is ratified next week, assuming there's no set backs. Thursday, however, marked the opening of facilities to players and the first semblance of normalcy since July.
Steve Nash was excited to be back at US Airways Center in Phoenix where he talked with a few other teammates that have arrived and got in a light workout. He spoke with the media about the lockout, the Suns chances, his health and future in the NBA.
Nash also was asked about any possible animosity between the players and owners coming out of the lockout. He was very candid with his response which also can be seen on video here at about the four-minute mark.
"You're talking about me and (Suns owner) Robert," Nash clarified.
"We're on two different sides of a collective bargaining agreement so we aren't teammates in that situation. I think there was a lot of animosity and I think at times it got personal. I think that everyone is man enough to recognize what it is and even to admit to maybe their mistakes in the process and put it behind us and go back to where we were as far as working together and being business partners or teammates."
Nash reported that he was healthy but will need the next few weeks to get in basketball shape. He believes the Suns can be a playoff team but is also hoping to see some improvements the roster in the next few weeks.
One important piece is free agent Grant Hill. Hill is reportedly being pursued by several other teams including the Knicks and Lakers, but for Nash, bringing him back is very important whatever the cost.
"That's a big issue for me. I hope he's back," Nash said. "Phoenix will have to make him a great offer and put him in a position where he can't say no to coming back."
Nash said he hadn't given any thought to his future beyond being back and helping the Suns get back to the playoffs after a disappointing season last year. He's not had any discussions yet with the Suns about an extension to his contract which expires after this season but said he is happy to talk about it with the team.
His exact quote on the possibility of him being trade was, however, a bit....vague.
"I think a lot of things will come to light or will find resolution in the next few weeks with free agent signings and trades and stuff where it think it's a little more clear and not as much up in the air and people can start to feel as though they can make decisions or it will look more obvious in many cases."
Nash agreed that the compressed schedule of the shortened 66-game NBA season would be difficult for all teams, "It's going to be brutal. Four games a week is tough for anybody."
As for fan anger about the lockout, Nash said he understands their point and all the players can do to earn back their trust is to play hard and be good citizens.
"On the other hand," Nash said, "I feel like if they were in our shoes they would have behaved in the same way we (did) through this situation."