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Steve Nash to the Lakers: And the Western Conference Gets Crazier

Apr 11, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash (13) drive against Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) in the first half at the FedEx Forum.  Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Apr 11, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash (13) drive against Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) in the first half at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

This might not necessarily directly influence anything the Memphis Grizzlies will do this offseason -- though it's fair to assume that they're diligently weighing plenty of options -- but Steve Nash heading to the Los Angeles Lakers only serves to make the upper crust of the Western Conference that much more imposing, on paper at least, to break through.

Barring any further insanity, the Oklahoma City Thunder's young core will be back together for next season, as will the San Antonio Spurs' slightly older one -- we're still waiting for that "one last title run" to, you know, be the last one. The Los Angeles Clippers are bringing a super-happy-to-be-there Lamar Odom into the fold and the Dallas Mavericks, appearing to be losing out a lot more than winning this offseason, could be heard from just yet.

All this, clearly headlined by Nash joining Kobe Bryant for certain and possibly, if they stay put, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, is to say: The Grizzlies' road isn't getting any easier. This doesn't mean that a move must be made for the sake of making one, though. It simply means that splashes big and small and the occasional cannonball are all being made around them. If you're one for the thrill of competition at its highest degree -- much like the degrees during this godforsaken summer -- you might be enthralled with this. If you're just a Grizzlies fan who felt that the West was grueling enough already, thank you very much, well, this isn't helping.

What the Memphis brass does from here, fair or not, will be viewed through the scope that the West's best either maintained, made slight improvements or acquired possible landscape destroyers. It's not a call to action just to satisfy an itchy trigger finger; it is, though, a loud reminder that the franchises that either can make such moves, or don't have to at this moment in time, aren't waiting around for small market teams like the Grizzlies to catch up.

Anyway, Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Love you, America.