Canadian born, syrup eating, hockey loving, long hair don’t care attitude and a wicked basketball game. A two-time NBA MVP, Steve Nash was one hell of a player. It wasn’t until his Phoenix Suns days that he became a national phenom and one of the most feared players in the game.
Nash was one of the greatest floor generals of all time. He knew how to beat the defense and could see plays develop two moves ahead. Although not the quickest player in the league, Nash played the pick-n-roll better than anyone in the game during his time, and just as well as Utah Jazz Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton. He had the ability to either come off the screen shooting, or get into the painted area where he wreaked havoc upon defenses.
He loved to play the game, and it showed on the court with his toughness and tenacity. If you didn’t love the way he played, or the heart he gave, then you don’t know squat. He may not have been big enough to be a hockey player, or for that matter actually liked playing the sport, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have the heart of a hockey player.
In 2007 during the Western Conference Semifinals, Nash bumped heads with San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker that left him with a huge gash on the bridge of his nose. There was no time for stitches; there was no time for anything really but to get a butterfly band-aid to help stop the bleeding. But it didn’t work. The nose continued to bleed like a leaky faucet and Nash had no chose but to keep playing because his team needed him. And oh yeah, he dropped 31 points too.
Then, in 2010, again in the WCSF against the Spurs, he took an inadvertent elbow to the eye by Tim Duncan and finished the rest of the game looking like a boxer with one eye half closed. He was the true definition of a warrior.
What’s sad about his career is that his numbers don’t tell the truth about him. 14.3 points per game, 8.5 assists, 49 percent field goal shooting, and 90.4 percent from the charity stripe. But know this, Nash could flat out score the basketball. When his team needed a bucket, the ball was in his hands and he delivered. He was damn near impossible to stop, especially coming off a highball screen.
Yet that doesn’t speak to his personality off the court. He is as genuine a person as they come. Just recently, Nash posted a video he shot of some fans going crazy when they recognized him on the highway. The fans proceed to offer him a can of beer and he graciously accepts. He was a warrior on the court and the polar-opposite off.
Nash dealt with chronic back problems his whole career, which made it a total travesty that a broken shinbone caused enough nerve damage to end his playing life.
Steve Nash will never truly be remembered as a Los Angeles Laker, or even a Dallas Maverick, instead, his legacy, and trip to the Hall of Fame, will be immortalized for the time he was a Phoenix Sun.