Recap: Showdown in Chinatown 2011
The 4th annual Showdown in Chinatown was held last night at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park in the heart of the Lower East Side. The event, presented this year by Ortsbo, benefited the Steve Nash Foundation, which provides under-served children with medical support, education, and personal development.
Nash, along with several current and former Phoenix Sun’s teammates and fellow NBA players such as Marcin Gortat, Grant Hill, Leandro Barbosa, Raja Bell, Brandon Jennings, Tony Parker and Jared Dudley, participated in this exhibition match with a handful of international soccer stars (i.e. Claudio Reyna, Demba Ba). As in the past, bleachers were erected outside the Rivington field and fans stood 3 deep, under threatening skies (which eventually opened up) to catch a glimpse of their favorite athletes. “I want to thank all you guys for coming. You guys are what make this great,” said Nash to a loud ovation.
At the event Nash touched on a number of different topics, ranging from a potential lockout in the NBA and trade rumors, to his foundation and how he came up with the idea of having a soccer match not far from his summer home.
Nash said he conceived the Showdown idea after speaking with a friend of his. “A good friend of mine and I were talking, we have a lot of friends that play soccer internationally and we thought we could do a great event for my foundation,” said Nash. “The atmosphere would be amazing if we can bring international players, basketball and soccer, to play for fans in this neighborhood,” added Nash.
When asked how happy he was for his former teammate Dirk Nowitzki winning that elusive ring, Nash said “incredibly happy. He is a phenomenal player. He is one of the great players in our game. Sometimes he is under-appreciated because he doesn’t do a lot of media stuff. He stuck with his team for 13 years, had a lot of ups and downs, got close before and finally pushed through,” said Nash. “So you can only be happy for him.”
As for rumors that Nash, who has one year left on his contract might be on the trading block, he said “I expect to be back in Phoenix. I am not worried about it at all. There is always a chance something could happen in the NBA. You see it in the NBA all the time,” said Nash. “If something happens, something happens. But I’m confident I will be back in Phoenix,” added Nash.
On a potential NBA lockout Nash said “obviously it would be disappointing to have a lockout. We all have a good thing going. We have a lot of fans. We have a lot of business and an exciting product and unfortunately that’s business.” Nash added “we have to come to an agreement at some point. I have faith and confidence we’ll get there.”
Back on the subject of the annual Showdown in Chinatown, Nash said he has several goals in mind. “To put on a great show, to give this neighborhood something to get excited about and even more importantly to raise money for the children through his foundation.”
From the excitement of the crowd and the enthusiasm of the youngsters on the field, it looks like he accomplished everything he set out to.
–Written by Andrew Cohen