Suns News

Nash, Bell Reunite in Vancouver

Suns teammates and good friends Steve Nash and Raja Bell are in Vancouver for Nash's Charity Game on Saturday night.
(Gerald Narciso/Suns Photos)
By Gerald Narcisso correspondent
Posted: July 21, 2007

Vancouver, British Columbia -- You have to forgive Steve Nash for being a little out of the loop.

Preoccupied with infinite appearances and commitments during his Charity Classic Weekend, the Suns’ guard was surprised when informed by a member of the media that teammate Kurt Thomas had been traded to the Sonics.

“I’m sad to see Kurt go,” Nash said at Friday’s press conference from the Westin Bayshore Resort. “I love Kurt. He’s a warrior and comes to work every day, and battles.”

The Thomas trade news was about the only downer of the press conference. Nash was completely candid as he playfully took questions about the Charity Game, the Suns and just about everything else.

Asked if would top his soccer display during last year’s exhibition by perhaps dunking, Nash laughed.

“If you are on the wacky tbacky you might (see it). But in real time, I don’t think anyone is going to see a Steve Nash dunk.”

One of the most humorous events of the morning came when teammate Raja Bell joined Nash at the podium. When someone handed Nash a copy of the latest issue of GQ (in which there is a photo spread of Bell), the embarrassed Bell quickly snatched the magazine and tried to run off before Nash could comment on the photo.

As for the Charity Classic is concerned, Nash spoke at length about his desire to split the funds raised over the weekend between causes in his native British Columbia to a water project he is planning in Paraguay, where his wife, Alejandra, was born.

Nash hopes that the third-annual event will be entertaining for fans and stays competitive – unlike most all-star and charity games. He also hopes that his NBA friends like Bell will enjoy their trip up north.

“For me it’s a pleasure to have some of my buddies come up here and be a part of my charity, but it’s also a pleasure for me to have them see this part of the world and see where I came from,” said Nash.

Which buddies show up is still sort of a mystery. The final roster is still under construction as some players have been added, while others have canceled. Fresh from the Vegas Summer League, Suns rookies Alando Tucker and DJ Strawberry are expected to play, as are former Suns players Sam Cassell and Jackson Vroman.

“Of course, two or three guys will cancel between now and the game, but likely we’ll have a great group,” Nash said. “We’re just going to try to have fun and see what happens. I think the spontaneity of the event is what’s most important.”

The Charity Classic tips off tonight in Vancouver’s GM Place.

Catching up with Raja

Approached in the lobby of the Westin Bayshore Resort on Friday morning and asked if he had any words for, Raja Bell offered up two.

“Trade me!” he joked. “Print that!”

All sarcasm aside, it has been a busy offseason for the Suns’ veteran and GQ model. Last weekend he was in his hometown of Miami playing in Alonzo Mourning’s “Summer Groove” charity game. But it is his personal life that has been consuming most of his free time this summer.

“I’ve just been learning how to be a dad, getting used to that,” said Bell of his experience taking care of his 3-month-old son, Dia.

Bell gets a quick break from parenthood this weekend, as he gets to enjoy his first visit to Vancouver.

“Canada is sweet - just looking out my window, it’s beautiful,” said Bell, who was sporting a white ringer tee and a pair of black Chuck Taylors. “Tonight I’m going to play a little poker, tomorrow I’m going to try to get some golf in. And tomorrow night, just dunk on some fools (laughs).”

With the Suns’ free-agent signing of Grant Hill, Bell has high hopes for the upcoming season.

“I think Grant will definitely help us,” he said. “I was really pushing for them to pursue him and hoping he would wind up signing with us, so I’m excited.”

So does that mean he takes back his trade request?

“My trade request has been rescinded,” he laughed. “I’ll take that off the table.”