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June 1, 2005

Steve Nash


Q. Extended yourself in the second quarter, and then you looked like you struggled coming out in the third?

STEVE NASH: I was a little stiff, to be honest. I couldn't get going. I felt a little constrained and just couldn't get loose again. I didn't really play well enough in the second half for us to win, so a little disappointing. But I will take my responsibility and lumps with that and, you know, try to build on it and not be too depressed.

Q. Was that the difference in the third quarter? Struggling offensively, obviously?

STEVE NASH: Yeah, I mean, we just didn't play great in the third quarter. I can't -- to be honest, I can't really remember at this point what happened. But they just outplayed us there and went on a couple little runs and usually we will go on ours, but we didn't really get on ours in that quarter. We just didn't play as well as them in the second half.

Q. This series come down to defense, the way San Antonio executed and the Suns' defense?

STEVE NASH: Yeah, I mean, I think -- we really -- it was tough. We didn't really find an answer for Tim (Duncan). He's just such a terrific player, and Manu (Ginobili) also I thought was just outstanding from start to finish. It's difficult. Tim makes all those guys better. He's a tremendous player and he's a team player and a winner and, you know, it was difficult. But it would have been nice to have had Joe (Johnson) the whole way because we're not a deep team as it is. But they beat us fair and square tonight and they deserved it.

Q. What does it mean for Amare (Stoudemire) to have a series like this at his age against a team as good as San Antonio? What does that do for the team's mindset going into the future?

STEVE NASH: I think we're already excited about our future and Amare's future in particular. I think collectively we have got some great pieces, some great guys, we have built a terrific chemistry this season and we all should be excited and inspired for the future.

Q. It was really a story book season, obviously didn't end the way you want to. Talk about that?

STEVE NASH: I think that kind of sums it up. In some ways we got almost all we could ask for out of this season except the one thing we really wanted. In many ways it diminishes everything we accomplished this year, but hopefully in time we'll be able to look back and really feel proud of our accomplishments and really enjoy them more than right now. Because it's really difficult to enjoy anything we did this year going out before the Championship. So we'll just have to live with that and try to get better for next year.

Q. Ultimately, is this as frustrating a situation as you have ever been in either internationally or professionally?

STEVE NASH: Well, I think it's always frustrating when you lose and so I don't think that this is any more or less frustrating. You always feel frustrated when you get beat. We got beat by a team that was a little bit more seasoned than we were. They have got a lot more Playoff games under their belt and together. So in many ways maybe it just was never meant to be for us. Joe went down and going from 29 wins to 62 and playing Championship team in Western Conference Finals, maybe it was too much for us. All of us feel like we could have won the series, but maybe this is something that we're going to have to build on in order to do so.

Q. Did you wear golf shoes to your press conference in July when you signed with the team?

STEVE NASH: Yes, I did.

Q. If you had Joe Johnson in games 1 or 2, do you think you might have won one of those games?

STEVE NASH: I think so. I think if we had J. J. (Joe Johnson) we may have gotten a split at least in the first two, but we didn't and that's a part of it. They didn't have Timmy (Duncan) down the stretch of the season and that's a part of them not getting home court. Got to live with that.

Q. As a competitor, what do you most respect about Tim (Duncan)?

STEVE NASH: I think mostly that he's a team player. He will do whatever it takes for the team. He's always looking to help his teammates. His ultimate goal is always winning, never any ulterior motive and I think that's very admirable in our business today.

End of FastScripts...

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