We’re barely into 2009, granted, but the finest Canadian basketball player in history is already thinking about 2010.


In an interview with NBC, B.C. native Steve Nash confirmed what appeared in this space Nov. 24 – that he is considering the idea of joining the New York Knicks as a free agent in 2010, after his contract with the Phoenix Suns expires. He emerged with another eyebrow-raising possibility, however, by mentioning the Toronto Raptors to NBC.


While not ruling out re-signing with the Suns, Nash said: "I feel fortunate there could be other possibilities for me. New York, obviously, is my off-season home, so I love the city. It's a basketball mecca. (Ex-Suns-turned-Knicks coach) Mike D'Antoni is there so there's a lot of attractive variables. And then Toronto, to go back to Canada to play for the home team, so to speak. I feel good that one of those could really be a really strong possibility.”


Heaven knows the Raptors need help.


Despite Canadian media apologists who regularly utter nonsense about the Raptors “keeping close” to their opponents, the reality is that Canada’s NBA franchise has deteriorated woefully, to the point where management is planning ticket-price reductions.

Fan interest is waning partly because many of the Raptors’ games aren’t televised by any network that allows the masses to watch them. Mind you, considering the Raps’ ineptitude, that may be a positive for the club.

Oh, and then there’s word spreading around the NBA like wildfire that first-year Raptor Jermaine O’Neal has become a frequent complainer about injuries that may be more imagined than real.

Ex-NBA superstar Charles Barkley, my favourite TV sports analyst, was drinking with Jaleel White -- aka Steve Urkel of the old Family Matters sitcom -- at an Arizona nightclub called Dirty/Pretty shortly before he was arrested for DUI Tuesday night. . .Ex-NFL star Andre Rison, who also spent some time with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, also was arrested this week on charges of public intoxication in Texas. . . Look for left-hander Andy Pettitte to re-sign with the New York Yankees next week as the Evil Empire continues to spend on a refurbished pitching rotation. . .I’m told, incidentally, that the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind signing an ex-Yank to fortify their offence. The question is whether they’re willing to pay Bobby Abreu the millions he’s seeking. . . And soccer icon David Beckham has an interesting, new tattoo on his arm. It’s in Hebrew, and it says: "My son, do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart."

Marty York is Metro's national sports columnist as well as an
instructor at the College of Sports Media in Toronto. He can be heard
regularly on Vancouver radio station CKNW with Sportstalk host Dan
Russell. Contact Marty at marty.york@metronews.ca