NBA great Steve Nash revolutionised the game during his 18-year career in the league, and he will certainly be worthy of Hall of Fame status in the coming years.
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“I heard someone once say there comes a day when they tell us all that we can’t play anymore,” Nash wrote in his announcement in The Players Tribune.
“We’re not good enough. Surplus to requirements. Too slow, maybe. When you’re a teenager with outsized dreams and a growing obsession, and someone tells you this ain’t gonna last forever, it’s scary. I never forgot it.”
The two-time MVP averaged 14.3 points and 8.5 assists over his career and established himself as one of the most creative point guards in the history of the game with his assist-making ability.
In addition, he was one of the best three-point shooters the game ever saw, making 42.8 percent of his threes which is ninth best all-time while he is No.15 on the list on the all-time three-pointers made list (1,685) as he came close to the 50-40-90 mark with his field goal and free throws percentages.
However, his influence and impact on the game goes far beyond his statistics, as after being drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the 15th overall pick back in 1996, his stint at the Dallas Mavericks began to bring out the best in him.
His vision was incredible, as was his ability to read defensive schemes and to adjust and create for others as he bought into the the ethos of helping make those around him better.
After re-joining the Suns, his partnership with coach Mike D’Antoni produced some of the most entertaining basketball ever in their up-tempo offense which saw Phoenix win 62 games in the 2004/05 season with Nash averaging 15.5 points and 11.5 assists to win his first MVP award.
The next season, Phoenix won 54 games and Nash again picked up the MVP award, and although he never won a title, it didn’t take away from his brilliance on the court and reputation of being one of the best.
While his spell with the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t work out as planned given all of his injury woes, it shouldn’t take away from his influence on the NBA. Off the court, he had a significant impact on Canadian basketball and spoke directly to aspiring kids with dreams of playing basketball in his letter announcing his retirement.
With a spot in the Hall of Fame surely waiting, Nash transformed the point guard position and will be missed on the courts up and down the NBA in the years to come.