(Even David Wright thinks this was a little over the top)

In all seriousness, I’m not interested in debating Steve Nash’s past or present worthiness as an MVP candidate/winner because a) I don’t have a vote and b) I don’t give a fuck who won the Miss America pageant, either. I accept the fact the ringless Nash makes his teammates better and the Phoenix Suns are an absolute joy to watch for anyone who hates defense loves the uptempo game. But I can also scratch my chin and figure there’s some portion of the sportswriter community that finds him an easier guy to relate to than his colleagues That could be a function of personality as much as race, but David Robinson aside, you have to look pretty hard to find anyone who will speak ill of Nash’s off the court activities (which, has zilch to do with his attributes on the court).

Phoenix were scary good last night in dismantling a none-too-shabby-at-the-Phone Booth Wizards squad, and with the Suns arriving at MSG tonight, the New York Times’ usually reliable Liz Robins pens a love letter to the former Tottenham Hotspur trialist.

They are this decade™s incarnation of the Los Angeles Lakers™ Showtime, averaging a crowd-pleasing, league-high 111.9 points per game, connecting on more 3-pointers than any team in the league and leaving opponents breathless while they have extended their winning streak to a league-best 14 games.

But the Suns insist that the team speed that powers such gaudy statistics is somewhat deceiving. Every day is not a joy ride with the top down. There is work ” and even defense ” involved.

Just ask the driver, point guard Steve Nash.

œTo get out and run is fun for us because it™s something we take for granted a little because it™s a chore for us, Nash said Tuesday morning before he led the Suns to a 41-20 first-quarter lead that turned into a 127-105 rout of the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. œWe can™t take a night off; we have to run every single night.

For those teams who say they want to play up-tempo, Nash offered a caveat.

œI think people who wish for a running system don™t realize you got to run every play every night, and that can take its toll on you, he said.

Still, Nash turns 33 in two weeks and shows no visible signs of slowing down. In his third season with Phoenix, Nash is already a front-runner to win his third straight most valuable player award, something only Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Larry Bird have accomplished.

Again, while I don’t wish to disparage a player I genuinely admire, the only way you could claim Nash “shows no visible signs of slowing down,” would be if you weren’t watching. If the point guard’s frequent back troubles and respites for stretching on the sideline or locker room aren’t an indication of slowing down, then what is? I’m not suggesting for a second Phoenix would be better off with say, Stephon Marbury running the point, but after brutal 7 game series’ last year against the Clippers and Lakers, I’m hardly blasting to Nash to say he looked a little worn down in the Western Conference finals against Dallas.