Yep, this is one of those posts dedicated to the great Steve Nash‘s retirement. Like we don’t have enough of those already…
Nash used to be one of my favorite players. I first really got to know him in the 2002 playoffs when Dallas reached the Western conference semifinals (and lost to Sacramento 4-1). That team was great to watch. His tandem with Nowitzki was amazing, and all in all it seemed that Don Nelson‘s goal back then was to have representation on the team from as many counrties as possible. Ther was Dirk from Germany, Nash from Canada, Michael Finley from USA, the original Yao Ming – Wang Zhizhi from China, Eduardo Najera from Mexico. Jesus, they were the Spurs before the Spurs were the Spurs.
Anyway, back then, when he played for Dallas I though Nash is awesome, and I still feel sorry that he didn’t get to stay there for the rest of his career, to finish it there with his homeboy Dirk. His Phoenix years were amazing, no doubt, and more impressive by pretty much whichever parameter one chooses, but I still miss that Dallas era… Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I didn’t like the Dirk of Phoenix – Amar’e Stoudemire… “The Dirk of Phoenix”… That sounds like a good movie title, isn’t it?
Nash’s numbers are amazing, and there’s no point of mentioning all of them here – you can find them in every other article about his retirement (although watch out for the ones in the Israeli websites – I already noticed a few mistakes there that made want to gouge my eyes out) . For me, one of the most amazing stats in his resume is his overall assists-per-game rate – 8.49 throughout his career, and that’s with his first two years in the league, which he spent warming the bench of the Phoenix Suns. The fact that he managed to lift his average all the way to 8.49 assists per game is amazing. This is really close to Jason Kidd‘s (his brother from another mother) average – 8.69, and Kidd enjoyed a star status right from his first year in the NBA. Anyway, with this number Nash sits in 9th place all-time. Without those first two seasons? His average jumps up to 9.23, good enough for 6th place all-time.
I don’t know whether Nash will make it to the Blog’s Hall Of Fame one day. He will surely make it to the Basketball’s Hall Of Fame, but to the Blog’s? I don’t know, There are several basketball players ahead of him, so we’ll see… But this was my opportunity to say “thank you” to the guy who provided us all with great basketball and many moments of joy for many years. If one repeats those glorious seasons of Phoenix many many times, in how many of them the Suns win the NBA title? I remember watching those heroic battles, and I was always rooting for Phoenix back then.
Anyway, now Kobe remains the only active player (in the NBA. Stephon Marbury still plays in the Chinese league…) from the legendary 1996 draft, a draft which also featured the Israeli Doron Sheffer, who was picked in 36th place… Didn’t we just see those players play? Where did they all go? Damn it, I’m getting old as fuck…
Anyway, thank you Steve!
One of my all-time favorite Nash moments – Steve the cyclops battling the Spurs and leading the Suns to victory: