NBA MVP Steve Nash with Simone Sandri and Andre Aldridge on the set of NBA TV's Basketball International.
Tony Stewart/NBAE/Getty Images

Catching Up With Steve Nash
by Rob Peterson

SECAUCUS, N.J., Aug. 24 -- It's been quite a summer for the NBA's stars. KG went to China and India. T-Mac's on his way over to Asia soon. Shaq went to China too, then returned to the States to hit the links with Zo, who of course, held his annual Summer Groove. And of course, you have the 48 NBA players striving for a World Championship in Japan.

Then we have the league's reigning two-time MVP.

"I've really been enjoying my summer," said Steve Nash from a dressing room at NBAE Studios.

Nash was here to appear on Basketball International, with Andre Aldridge and Simone Sandri, NBA TV's weekly, half-hour look at basketball on a world stage.

So, what has Nash been doing with his summer vacation? He has hosted a charity game, had his locks shorn (yes, this was news), watched the World Cup, kicked around the pelota with the New York Red Bulls and hung out with FC Barcelona and the reigning FIFA Player of the Year, Ronaldinho.

"That was a blast," Nash said. "Soccer's been a big part of my life. It was a great chance for me to go out there and play with the professionals."

Two two-time MVPs: Ronaldinho and Nash
Courtesy New York Red Bulls
Nash will again play with the professionals, this time for his day job. The Suns will open training camp in Treviso, Italy on Sept. 30 as a part of the NBA Europe Live Tour presented by EA. On Thursday in a soggy Secaucus, we took a moment to talk with Steve. You played three grueling playoff series, two seven-game series and a six-game series. How tired were you physically and mentally, and has this summer helped you rejuvenate?

Nash: "I actually felt good at the end of the season. I could have kept playing. But this summer's been great to rejuvenate, nonetheless. I feel really good right now and I'm excited for the next season." You made the Western Conference Finals last season. What do you need to do to get over that hump into The Finals?

Nash: "I think we need better luck with our health, and if we can formulate the same chemistry and style of play that we did last year with a few extra pieces thanks to good health, we feel we're right there." One of those pieces, obviously, is Amaré Stoudemire. He participated in USAB camp and then took some time off to rehab further. Do you expect him back for camp?

Nash: "Yeah, I think we expect him to start the season with us. But this is something that's going to be with him throughout the remainder of his career.

"When you go through such an important surgery, you're continually preparing to be fit and prevent injury. He's hopefully building up his strength, but it's something we need to be patient with and make sure we give him enough time to be confident and comfortable." You're going to start training camp in Italy. What are your thoughts about opening your training camp overseas?

Nash: "I'm extremely excited. I love to travel and I love Italy. Opening camp in Italy is not only a change for us, but a great opportunity to experience a different culture and a different type of training camp. It's going to be a lot of fun before.

"There are so many great spots in Italy and I've loved it all. One place I haven't been is the Venice/Treviso area, so I'm excited to do that. And I've been to Rome, so I'm excited to return there." This has been a great summer to be a fan for you, first the World Cup, now the World Championships. How are you following the games?

Nash: "Well, it's been on early in the morning, so I haven't got to watch much, but I've been following the scores, and it's been fun to follow. " Who do you think are the favorites in the tournament?

Nash: "The US and Argentina are the two best teams, we'll see what happens when they collide."