Steve Nash – Career Stats of an MVP

Steve Nash playing for the Phoenix Suns

Kobe Bryant Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers 2010 (By Keith Allison, Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, image link: flicker, cropped derivative)

Steve Nash was one of the best foreign NBA players to ever play the NBA and the best Canadian player. His MVP stats made Steve Nash an Hall of Fame player.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he grew up in Canada. He played football (soccer) and hockey. The chance that Steve Nash will become a basketball player was minimal, and he became one of the best playmakers in the history of this sport. A rich career, sadly without a championship title, but a career that everyone who loves this game will remember…

How are the odds that someone born in South Africa and grew up in Canada will become an excellent basketball player? One percent? How many people in those parts of the world at the end of the 1970s and early 80s knew at all that there was a sport in which you dribble the ball and shot it to the basket? Nash’s parents are definitely not…

Nash trained and trained, and he was getting better and better. During the summer he played for the younger Canadian squad, and after a while, he joined the senior team. That was a crucial moment in his career, and he owes that to Dell Harris.

Harris was one of the best basketball practitioners in the world. As a coach, he did not make great results, but his knowledge, innovation in play and the quality of lectures in basketball circles are hugely appreciated. At the time, Dell Harris worked as an advisor to the Canadian Basketball Federation, and after completing one of the training sessions, he came to Nash and said: “Steve, you may not know that now, but you’re already an NBA player and you have a chance to make a good career. You remind me of another player who was told he could not play in the NBA – Mike Dunleavy.”

Steve Nash draft pick by the Phoenix Suns

For Nash, it was the most significant injection of self-confidence. Harris saw in Nash, a guy with excellent court vision, the guy who has an incredible eye – hands coordination and who does not give up. Phoenix Suns saw the same thing and selected him after College as the 15th pick on the 1996 draft, looking for Kevin Johnson’s backup guard.

The Phoenix fans saw what the majority saw at that moment. Physically inferior guard from Canada. Nash was booed.

During Steve’s first year his playing time was minimal, Suns got Jason Kid in the trade. It seemed that Nash will have reserved a place on the bench, but then instead of the Cotton Fitzsimmons, Danny Ainge took over the team. Ainge was a brilliant shooter, and as a guard, he adored “low height five” team, broad attack and a lot of shots for three points. In his second year, Nash was given minutes, mostly as a shooting guard. He came out of the blocks and hit threes. In the end, his joy was last short. Sun’s management did not see potential in Nash. By thinking that he will forever be a reserve, Phoenix sent Nash to Mavericks in 1998.

Trading to the Dallas Mavericks and back to the Suns

Over the next six years, Nash has become a perfect playmaker for Mavs, which is both a compliment and a critique. Dallas Mavericks was with Nash and Nowitzki a very entertaining team in which the attack was the primary strategy. When Nash and Nowitzki improved the pick and roll play, Dallas became from a kicking can to a dangerous NBA team, but not top-notch.

Steve Nash became Hippie-Stockton. Silly hairstyle, excellent dribbling, passing, precise shot, licking your fingertips while waiting for the ball. The media were interested in his life outside the court and, above all, socializing with Nowitzki. I mean, what to say about the duo who was in the first years in Dallas exclusively going to a bar called “Loner”. He has many nicknames, I will mention just a couple of them “MVSteve”, “Floor General”, “Mr. 50 40 90”, “Nash Gash”, “Nashty”, “Kid Canada”, “Stevie Wonder”, “Captain Canada”, “Hair Canada”.

Idyll in Dallas lasted five years. Mavs played one Western conference final. Nash hoped to sign a long-term contract with Mark Cuban at the end of the sixth year, but that did not happen because the Cuban did not want to give big money to a 30-year-old PG with an injured back, even when Nash’s manager brought Sun’s offer to the table.

Phoenix Suns led by Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash become the most attractive team in the league. No one in recent history played much better. D’Antoni’s basketball system, with a lot of running, with four shooters at all times, with constant movements in the attack, with passes behind the back, with Nash, pick n roll, and lots of good shots caused a real small revolution in NBA. Amare and Marion were slam dunking all over the place, Joe Johnson hit the threes, as well as Eddie House and Q Richardson. Boris Diaw scored in all ways.

Steve Nash – Hall of Fame player

All this was tied and connected by Steve Nash. A double number of assists (11.5 assists per game), a high percentage of shots (50.2% field goals and 43.1% of his three-pointers), and perfection from the free throw line. Hippie-Stockton and his Suns were regularly at the top of the Western Conference. Three times in the West Finals but never in the NBA Finals.

In the history of the NBA, it’s hard to find a PG that had a better pass with one hand from Nash. Most of his passes are single-handed, either to the right or weaker left hand. What makes these passes unique is the fact that they throw them directly from the hip, without changing the position of the body, without breaking the height of the dribbling, without looking, without any preparation for a pass. Nash did not leave defense neither a fraction of a second to react…

Because of his great career on 31. March 2018 he was introduced into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame alongside Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, and Ray Allen. It was a special day for him and fans to show respect to his greatness and career performance.

A legendary story from the Phoenix dressing room that Nash was able to maintain the balance standing on the pilates ball while skipping the rope as Muhammad Ali would do at his best days…

Does Steve Nash have a ring?

And indeed, if you watch Suns matches at their golden moments (and I watch them regularly), then you can notice that Nash never stands still on the court. Everything he does works in motion, passing, dribbling, shooting, whatever. It was his way to take advantage of his guards.  In the end, it seems that this was not enough for the title of the NBA champion, as well as many other giants before him. This is the answer to your questions “How many rings does Steve Nash have?” or “Does Steve Nash have a ring?”. He currently close to the ’50s. The line between the winner and the loser is fragile and something that probably has more to do with luck than with anything else. Nash did not have that in mind.

Steve Nash was “spitting blood” playing every night. It just was not enough … Sport is sometimes such…

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