The big news in sports on Wednesday was not Joey Chestnut eating 68 hot dogs or Carlos Lee being traded to Miami (did anybody really care about that?), but rather it was Steve Nash signing a 3-year, $27M deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN, per their usual incorrect breaking news policy, had a scroll at the bottom of the screen stating Kobe Bryant was actively pursuing Nash and called him on the phone.
Of course, as we've found out, Nash placed the call to Kobe to get a feel for what direction the team was going in and discuss how the two may be able to work together and succeed.
"For me, it was important to speak to him and make sure he was completely on board, and that he could kind of visualize this as being a good fit, and being excited about it. So I spoke to him. Kobe, he was great. He was excited, and explained to me how he thought it would help, and why he thought it would be great, and I think a lot of the reasons he had were ones I could already envision before speaking to him."
I've long been of fan of Nash. He has the competitive fire in an athlete you want to see. He's not afraid to get in the opponent's face, but he also has a respectful demeanor about himself.
Most importantly, he's still a heck of a point guard.
There are two concerns with Laker fans on the signing of Nash. One, did the Lakers get Nash too late in his career? And two, is he going to be able to play effectively with Kobe Bryant?
Time and time again it appears the Lakers make a good signing but that player doesn't make as much of an impact as anticipated because he is trying to please Kobe Bryant.
Remember when Metta World Peace, Steve Blake and Matt Barnes were key contributors to their teams? World Peace was the anchor of Houston, Blake was a spark for Portland, and Barnes was hitting clutch three's in Orlando. They have not been the same since joining the Lakers.
Nash will be in the Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible. He will be able to co-exist with Kobe for one reason...respect.
Fans who have followed the Lakers over the years have tolerated the way Kobe treats his teammates. I'm still disgusted every time I replay the fit Kobe through when Blake missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the end of Game 2 in the Western Conference playoffs against Oklahoma City.
There's not much more Nash can do as a player except win a NBA championship. Kobe knows his career is winding down and working with Nash will not only lengthen Kobe's career, but it also gives him a much better chance of winning his sixth ring.
The Lakers were not going to progress with Ramon Sessions running the show. The organization still needs to improve the bench, but a starting five that includes Nash, Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum should be able to be more successful in 2012-13 than they were this past season.
Kobe just needs to play nice.
Joe Chacon is a staff writer for Operation Sports and a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.