Mike D'Antoni believes the Phoenix Suns would have been even better during his tenure had he not been so determined to have Steve Nash play the role of a traditional point guard.
With James Harden and Chris Paul playing more isolation basketball with the Houston Rockets, we are seeing the evolution of D'Antoni's process.
"Oh, without a doubt, I screwed that up," D'Antoni said. "Nash was a purist. Steve's a Hall of Fame point guard. He was unbelievably good. I just think instead of averaging 15 or 16 [points], he could have averaged 30 for us. He was that good of a shooter, and I don't think it would have screwed the team up."
Nash averaged 12.4 field goal attempts and 4.1 3-point attempts per game during his four seasons with D'Antoni.
"If they even give a hint of going under [the screen], just whap it," D'Antoni said.
"We know better now," Nash said. "The math's been validated, and I think that's why point guards are so aggressive. It makes sense. We stuck to our traditional values, and that allowed me to stick to my personality, whereas I should have come further and further out of my personality.
"Yeah, I should have probably shot the ball 20 times a game. It probably would have made a lot more sense, but at the time, we weren't ready for that league-wide. Everyone was telling us that you can't win shooting all those 3s, and now we realize that we didn't shoot enough, especially when we were playing small. So, yeah, I think Mike's right. I regret it, too.
"But it really wasn't my personality and the culture of the game wasn't ready for that. So it was like a bridge too far, so to speak, at the time."