Steve Nash and the Awesome Giving Tree Theory

Steve Nash

There weren’t too many people happy with Steve Nash when he decided to end his tenure with the Phoenix Suns by going to the Los Angeles Lakers, where his and the team’s fortunes haven’t really taken off. One clever redditor by the username of jackpype links this move to the famous book The Giving Tree, not taking the trade for face value.

The Giving Tree was published by Shel Silverstein in 1964 and has been described as one of the most divisive books in children’s literature. Usually the controversy hovers around whether or not the relationship between the child (who becomes and adult later on) and the tree is a positive one (the tree gives the boy selfless love), or a negative one (the boy and the tree have a sadomasochistic relationship).

There are plenty of interpretations (which often depend on the culture of the reader; A 1998 study using phenomenographic methods found that Swedish children and mothers tended to interpret the book as dealing with friendship, while Japanese mothers tended to interpret the book as dealing with parent-child relationships.).

  • The tree represents God or Jesus and the boy represents humankind.
  • The tree represents Mother Nature and the boy represents humankind.
  • The tree and the boy are friends (i.e., “the message of the tale is seen as a relation between adults”).
  • The tree and the boy have a parent-child relationship.

The Giving Tree


Conspiracy theory? Probably not, but one can interpret it that way (we’re talking about Nash and the Lakers). Nash was 38 when he was dealt to the Lakers on a sign-and-trade that got the Suns, knowing they’re going into a year (or more) of rebuilding after a mostly successful era with the two-time MVP point guard. He was dealt for a 2013 1st round draft pick (Nemanja Nedovic was later selected), a 2013 2nd round draft pick (Alex Oriakhi was later selected), a 2014 2nd round draft pick and a 2015 1st round draft pick.

According to jackpype, Steve Nash had one more gift to give the Suns when he knew he couldn’t play anymore. He sunk the Lakers and made them pay him for it. You are the greatest Sun ever, Steve.

Nash has played only 50 games during his first season with the Lakers, averaging 12.7 points and 6.7 assists, another step in the obvious decline that began a year or two earlier. He’s been on the court only six times this season for the Lakers with a back injury getting in the way, while the Lakers struggle with an awful 16-30 record. Earlier this season, while Blake and Farmar were healthy, it seemed that the Lakers, paying Nash more than $9 million a season next year as well, were better off without him.

So was this one big poison pill the Suns slipped the Lakers? Who knows, but willingly or simply by mistake, Nash gave the Suns a better future without his salary burdening the team, a few draft picks (which they haven’t done much with) and in the meanwhile has been part of a Lakers decline that has been enjoyable to watch for many fans around the NBA.

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