Steve Nash surprised to find himself with Lakers

By Greg Beacham

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, July 11 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

The Canadian hero born in South Africa to British parents is one of his sport's most popular athletes worldwide, and his star scarcely waned while the Suns were "pretty mediocre the last couple of years," as Nash described it. He's joining Bryant, another global superstar who inspires more polarizing feelings than the kid who emerged from Santa Clara to become a highly improbable multiple MVP.

Nash has played with big names before, from Dirk Nowitzki to Shaquille O'Neal. He said he hopes playing in Bryant's backcourt will allow him to "(take) some pressure off Kobe."

"He's had to take on so much that it would be nice for him to get a few easy baskets, not have to expend so much energy," Nash added. "Hopefully I can spread the floor a little bit with my shooting ability, give Andrew and Pau a little more room to roam."

Kupchak said the Lakers aren't done making moves this summer, and he planned to talk with Duffy, who also represents big man Jordan Hill. There's also the possibility of pursuing veteran Grant Hill, who has said he's considering joining Nash in the move west from Phoenix to Los Angeles.

Grant Hill would have to get used to the sight of his point guard in a No. 10 jersey, since the Lakers retired his traditional No. 13 in honor of a guy named Wilt.

But Nash is a lifelong soccer addict whose first word was "goal," and he said he chose No. 10 to honor Glenn Hoddle, Zinedine Zidane and other playmakers who wore the number. Everything might be new for Nash in Los Angeles, but even at this late date in a career that started in 1996 — the same season as Bryant — he's eager for the challenge.

"I look forward to learning all these personalities and making them work together," Nash said. "And I'm sure I'll make friends."

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