You don’t see this everyday in the States.
(Stefan Swiat/Suns.com photos)
The Suns are in Vancouver, Canada as they get ready to face the Trail Blazers in their final preseason contest. Check out some interesting tidbits from their trip.
1. With the amount of attention Steve Nash receives here, it is obvious that he is most famous person to come out of Vancouver, British Columbia. In an unofficial tally, Pamela Anderson finished a close second.
2. This is the first NBA game played in Vancouver since the Suns took on the former Sonics in a preseason game in 2007. It is the last preseason game for the Suns before they open the regular season on Oct. 28 in L.A. against the Clippers.
3. In order to have a NBA team, Vancouver originally had to have 15,000 season-ticket holders before it could have a franchise. The city achieved that number and held widespread support for the Grizzlies until the franchise moved to Memphis. “I felt robbed a little bit when the Grizzlies left town,” Nash said. “It feels like a birthday for me. I think the city did a great supporting the team while they were here. They love basketball in British Columbia and it was really unfortunate and I think unfair in a lot of ways that they lost their team.”
4. The 2008 Draft is having some foot problems. The No. 15 pick from that draft Robin Lopez, has been out with a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot, while the No. 45 pick, Goran Dragic is a game-time decision tonight due to an infected right pinky toe. Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry joked with him that he has to learn to be like a veteran and plan his nagging injuries for the postseason… not during the preseason and before he even gets himself going.
5. Louis Amundson said that the hotel that the team is staying at in Vancouver may be the nicest one they’ll see this season. The curtains that lead to the balcony are controlled by a button. It’s really nifty.
6. The GM Place is where the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks play their games. The phrase “We Are All Canucks” lines the walls outside of the locker rooms. Not a common aphorism one sees in NBA arenas.
7. The Toronto Maple Leafs were seen out and aboot (Canadian version of about) in Vancouver yesterday. Although they don’t play until Saturday, one could surmise that they came into town a little early to see Canada’s finest hooper. The game is already being reported as a sellout.
8. When Gentry was asked by a Canadian reporter what Nash’s value was to the offense, he laughed and said, “Probably about the same as (NASCAR driver) Jimmy Johnson’s motor is to his car. When your team has been the leading scoring team in the NBA for the last eight years, and you’re really the only constant that is there, then that speaks volumes about the impact that you have on an offense.”
9. Nash took his teammates over to Steve Nash Sports Club in downtown Vancouver for a quick lift after practice. It is the two-time MVP’s own franchise of gyms. He currently owns two with at least one other on the way.
10. About possibly becoming a future part-owner and facilitator of bringing another NBA team to Vancouver, Nash said, “I don’t know. I’m pretty busy with the Whitecaps. Let’s worry about getting that franchise off to a good start in the MLS before we worry about an NBA team here.”