Fast, and without looking: Who has been the best point guard to play alongside Kobe Bryant ? Time’s up: It’s 38-year-old Steve Nash, and he’s yet to play a minute with the Black Mamba. Oh, but that will change soon. That’s right, Nash is going to be a Laker after agreeing to a sign-and-trade with Phoenix for $25 million on Wednesday. Almost no one was talking about the Lakers being in Nash’s mix of suitors, but Mitch Kupchak pulled the latest in a series moves that have stunned the NBA so far in free agency’s moratorium. Finding a good point guard has been on seemingly everyone’s checklist this offseason and the Lakers were, too, with mid-season rental Ramon Sessions weighing his options and Steve Blake not holding a lock on a starting job. Plus, it gives L.A. a shooter to alleviate the pressure that can bottle up around Kobe when his volume of shots bottles of the offense. So again, Kobe is about to get the best point guard he’s ever played with, which means you can stop shoveling the fresh dirt on the Lakers’ grave. Their status as contenders is very much alive as two of the five best players of the past 15 years go at it one more time for a ring, together. … The Raptors’ agreed signing of Landry Fields was a way to stand in the way of New York’s pursuit of Nash, but now both teams look a little foolish. First, New York lost a solid role player in Fields and of course, never got Nash either. Toronto, meanwhile, congratulated itself over screwing the Knicks but now is paying Fields $20 MILLION. And the city — one of the best, we’ll add — settles in for another cold winter. … Hey it’s not like the Knicks completely missed out — they brought high-flying James White back to the NBA on Wednesday. White’s career apex may have been the legendary 2001 McDonald’s All-American dunk contest as runner-up to David Lee. He averaged 17 poitns, five rebounds and three assists per game in Italy last year. He’ll make the league minimum next season. “Flight 75” touches down again in America. How about that for a Fourth of July for White? … In a move that was the opposite of Nash’s surprise, Rudy Fernandez has decided to go home after a few years of dropping overt hints he wanted to go back. He was a bolt of lightning when he arrived in Portland in 2008, but that was as good as it got. Adios, Rudy. … Hit the jump to see where Michael Beasley landed…
France’s national team might be cursed. After Tony Parker gets his eye cut as random hip-hop beef collateral damage, Joakim Noah won’t be able to play in the Olympics either. He injured his left ankle too bad to jump or run, reports from France said (no, we don’t speak it, so thanks for online translators). France’s roster is announced Thursday in prep for its July 29 game against the U.S. The French players will need to be extra superstitious about their health from now till London. We’re half expecting Nike to reveal the team’s new innovative uniforms: a mixture of Dri-FIT and bubble wrap. … We’ve been hearing all day in the comments and on Twitter about your opinions about one of our posts today. We knew it was going to be divisive but, damn, you all are entrenched in what side you stand on between who has handled his free agency/trade demands worse between LeBron James and Dwight Howard. We’ve got people telling us that it’s everyone in Cleveland hating LeBron vs. the rest of the nation against Dwight. Others say it’s not fair to compare because one was one night of horror vs. a full year of pain. … One more piece of free agency business that broke late was Michael Beasley agreeing with the Suns on a three-year deal worth $18 million. The Suns are setting fast and looking to rebuild, so it’s one of the perfect spots for Beasley to rebuild his cred after showing bright spots as a sixth man last year. We’ll say one thing though: We don’t see Phoenix rising from its ashes anytime soon. … Just in case you live in the Sacramento River Valley and wanted to watch the Kings in the future, you’ve struck out again. Mayor Kevin Johnson said any “Plan B” for arena financing never took shape and is officially D.O.A. … We’re out like France’s roster.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook