“You wanna call these cheap fouls for the guy who won MVP who shouldn’t have won MVP?”

Robert Horry’s controversial hip check on Steve Nash in the 2007 playoffs may have changed the course of NBA history. The suspensions of Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw, who took the pitch during the altercation, could have cost them the league.

On the podcast The Crossover, the seven-time champion revealed his thoughts behind the body check that resonated throughout the NBA. Horri said:

“The hip check on Steve Nash was … You know how coaches sometimes take techs because you don’t get calls?

“That was me showing the umpires, ‘Oh, you want to call those cheap fouls for the guy who won MVP who shouldn’t have won MVP? I will show what will happen here.’ So I gave him a body check.”

Great conversation with the legend @RKHorry in the Crossover pod, including thoughts on: • The Draymond Saga • Westbrook as a sixth man • Rob’s best and worst nights in the ring • The real reason for his infamous hip check by Steve NashListen/subscribe: link.chtbl.com/crossover

Horry’s revelation was startling as his original version of the story, based on an interview with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, was completely different. The former San Antonio Spurs forward previously said this about The Knuckleheads:

“My whole intention of going into this play was to prepare myself to take on this commission, and I didn’t get over it in time. They were going to call me a foul anyway, so I’ll just do it [going to] attach. I’m from the 90’s That’s how we played.”

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Preparing for a clash is simply different than intending to punish Steve Nash for receiving favorable calls. There was also the animosity Horry felt toward Nash for allegedly stealing the 2005-06 MVP award from Kobe Bryant, making the act vicious.

The Phoenix Suns won Game 4 during that infamous altercation, but the NBA suspended Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for Game 5 along with Horry. Without Stoudemire and Diaw, the Suns fought valiantly but lost 88-85. They also suffered a loss in Game 6 as the Tim Duncan-led Spurs won the series.

Steve Nash and co. gave San Antonio all the trouble they could handle in this series. The rest of the way, the vaunted Spurs lost just one game. They beat the Utah Jazz in five games before beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in one fell swoop.

What if Robert Horry hadn’t checked Steve Nash on the hip in Game 4 of the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals? #playtime

By 2021, when the Suns gambled away a 2-0 lead against the Milwaukee Bucks, pundits believed the 2007 team was the closest thing to a championship. Who knows how things would have turned out if Robert Horry hadn’t decided to investigate Steve Nash?

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns lost again to the San Antonio Spurs the following season

San Antonio Spurs vs Phoenix Suns Game 2
San Antonio Spurs vs Phoenix Suns Game 2

After a heartbreaking loss to the San Antonio Spurs in 2007, the Phoenix Suns overhauled their roster. They released Shawn Marion before this year’s trade deadline to take on four-time champion Shaquille O’Neal from the Miami Heat.

Though the Suns were only the sixth seed in the West, neither team was thrilled to face the trio of O’Neal, Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash. When they faced Spurs as their first-round opponents, the whole town and their fan base hoped for cold-blooded revenge.

Robert Horry, who was at the end of his career, was still with Spurs and only played 33 total minutes in the series. San Antonio, on the other hand, still had its Big 3 in 2008 with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

That was more than enough to torment Steve Nash and the Suns and win again.

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