Steve Nash was a great player. He is a living legend of the sport of basketball. When all is set and done, he will be remembered as one of the greatest point guard to have ever step foot on a basketball court. He will definitely be on the top 100 greatest players of all time. He was voted twice MVP of the league in 2005 and 2006. That’s one more than Julius Erving, Bob Cousy, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Karl Malone, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, Derrick Rose, and his teammate Kobe Bryant.
Nash was an All-Star 8 times. He made All-NBA First Team three seasons in a row in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and made All-NBA Second Team twice in 2008 and 2010 and All-NBA Third Team in 2002 and 2003. He won the NBA Skills Challenge twice in 2005, 2010. And if that was not enough Steve Nash has been a class and exemplary basketball player his entire career, so it is no surprise that he received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2007.
It is where great point guards leave their mark in history that he perhaps left his greatest footprint. Steve Nash led the NBA in assists five times in his prime in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011, and all five times he averaged double digits assist per game. Steve Nash is in an exclusive club of five point guard who past the 10 000 assist mark. He currently has 10,278 recorded assists. He is fourth on the list behind all-time leading passer John Stockton with 15,806 assists, Jason Kidd with 12,091, Mark Jackson with 10,334. What should also be noted is that Steve Nash “the Great” is ahead of Earvin “Magic” Johnson, 10,141, the last member of the 10, 000 assists club, Oscar Robertson, 9,887, Isiah Thomas, 9,061, Gary Payton, 8,966, Bob Cousy ,6,955, Jerry West, 6,238. This is extraordinary company to in.
I would summit absolute certainty that his jersey will be retired in Phoenix. Steve Nash is a future hall of famer. His career has been complete. The only achievement that is lacking in his illustrious career is an NBA championship. Recognizing that fact, he went to play with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers and complete a one year lasting big four composed of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash. Unfortunately, for both him and the Lakers, Nash came too late. Like Kobe Bryant he is in his 18th season in the NBA. Most people may not realize the wear and tear that 18 seasons in the NBA leave on one’s body.
Last year he only played 50 games of which were games he played coming off the bench for he was reintegrating the rotation coming back from injuries. This season Steve Nash has not player much. In fact he has played a total of six games. In those six games he averaged a career low 6.7 points, 4.8 assists, 1.5 rebounds on catastrophic 26% field goal percentage and a below career average 38.5% from beyond the arc all this in 22 minutes. Need I remind the basketball world that Steve Nash, the future hall of famer and two-time MVP of the league, was a walking double-double in his prime. I need remind most that in his last eight seasons in Phoenix he averaged double digits assist per game. In his worst year in that department, he averaged 9.7 assists per game. Should I note that since his fifth season in the NBA, 2000-2001, Steve Nash has being scoring in double digits, and that 7 seasons out of 13 he has done that on better than 50% shooting from the floor. In that period, his worst shooting percentage was 46.5%. When Kobe Bryant eluded to Nash was one of the best shooters he has ever seen, he was not kidding or engaging in needless flattery. Steve Nash is a career 43% shooter from beyond the arc and a 90% free throw shooter. In both departments, he is one of the greatest of all time. But why can he not do this anymore, a young Lakers fan may ask?
Because his body will not let him, I would respond. Steve Nash repeated injuries are nothing more than his body telling him “Steve, I let you play four years of college basketball, most of 17 seasons in the NBA, plus the nearly the equivalent of another regular season of playoff games. I have allowed to play 30 plus minutes per game in regular season and two years 40 minutes per game in the playoffs. I have allowed you to play and win most in not all of the individual honors there was to win in this league and compete and the highest to help your team win the title you deserved. After 18 years of professional basketball you are asking me to make all the effort necessary physical efforts to play 82 games plus about 20 games in the playoff to win the title right after I, your body, sent you signals last season that I may not be able to do this anymore. Let me put it the best way I can, I, your body, can no longer make all the necessary physical efforts or movements to allow to play at the highest level to compete and win.” That is I believe that his soon to be 40 years old body is trying to say to Steve Nash.
Arguing this is in no way a sign of disrespect. In my humble opinion, it is just stating the obvious. As a Laker fan, and as a fan of Steve Nash, it sadden me to write that I think the Lakers should encourage and let Steve Nash retire at the end of the season or amnesty him to use the 9.7 million he is scheduled next year to recruit a LeBron James or a Carmelo Anthony.
At this occasion we, Lakers, Suns, Mavericks and basketball fans around the world, should all salute and say goodbye to one of the greatest point guards that has ever lived.
Steve Nash the basketball player is no longer. However, Steve Nash the legend of the sport of basketball just begins!