Free-agent Nash talks Knicks, future

Free-agent-to-be Steve Nash talked about his future Wednesday, saying he thinks the Knicks offer a better opportunity to win now than the Nets.

NEW YORK — With NBA free agency set to begin July 1, there are more questions than answers regarding Steve Nash's potential landing spot next season.

The two-time MVP took his talents to the soccer pitch Wednesday evening and fielded questions about his future as he hosted the fifth annual Steve Nash Foundation Soccer Showdown at Sarah D. Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Steve Nash bid an emotional goodbye to the fans in Phoenix during his final game there this season.

While Nash's soccer dribbling exhibition impressed the adoring crowd, the focus quickly shifted to NBA free agency talk and potential suitors for the services of the eight-time All-Star point guard.

"So many things are important," Nash admitted. "My family, the environment, the team, the chance to win, the contract. When you're trying to reconcile all of those factors, that's when you can start to rank those situations that fit you the best."

The Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are among a laundry list of teams who have reportedly expressed interest in signing the 38-year-old floor general. With 16 seasons under his belt, Nash is still chasing that elusive first NBA title.

When evaluating the opportunity to win this upcoming season in New York, Nash appeared to favor the Knicks over the Nets.

"I think right now the Knicks," Nash said. "Maybe in a few years the Nets. They (the Nets) have an owner that is building toward and expecting to win a championship soon."

The Knicks hold "early Bird" rights on point guard Jeremy Lin, which could potentially create a scenario where Nash would pair with the 23-year-old sensation in the Big Apple. Nash didn't appear deterred at the prospect of playing alongside Lin.


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"I don't think so," Nash said of Lin's presence influencing his decision to come to New York. "I'd have to hear what they have to say. What the coaches say, what the front office says. It's not just one factor. You have to look at everything."

With a bevy of teams entering the Nash Sweepstakes this offseason, the future Hall-of-Famer didn't rule out the possibility of returning to the Suns this upcoming season.

"Phoenix has been home for eight years," Nash said. "It's a very important place to me. It still is to this day. It's still possible."

Proceeds from the charity event benefit the Educare Arizona program, which brings best practices in early learning to at-risk children.

"The Lower East Side gets an opportunity to have NBA players and international soccer stars at an arm's length," Nash said. "When you look at all the great players that have played at this event, it's led to a lot of highlights and a lot of great memories."

A star-studded list of attendees included NBA free agents Elton Brand, Danny Green and Grant Hill, along with Mike Dunleavy of the Milwaukee Bucks. International soccer standouts Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls, along with Jozy Altidore and Stu Holden of the U.S. National Team, showcased their skills with the London 2012 Olympic Games fast approaching.

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