Steve Nash: Still One of League's Best Even at 37

Kevin BonnevilleContributor IIIFebruary 2, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 12:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns lays up a shot during the NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at US Airways Center on January 12, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

For the last few seasons, we have been hearing from several people within the media that Steve Nash is going to slow down. They point to the two-time MVP being at an advanced age at 37, and the Phoenix Suns lacking in talent to help Nash continue to play at a high level.

Yes, his birth certificate shows he is 37, and Phoenix is no longer a title contender like they once were, but Nash is playing some of the best basketball of his hall of fame career.

During last night's win against the Hornets in New Orleans, Nash broke the Suns all-time assist record that was set by Kevin Johnson. With 45 games left on the schedule and Nash's possibility to return to Phoenix next year, he has a chance to shatter the mark that many thought no one was going to break.

Nash breaking the assist record and having the most assists out of anyone in the league so far this season is remarkable considering how poorly designed this Suns roster is. No longer is Nash sending passes to the likes of Amar'e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Leandro Barbosa. Now, he is shooting passes to a bunch of role players.

Along with putting up great assist totals, Nash is shooting lights out from the field. In fact, at 55 percent, it is the highest percentage he has shot his entire career. He is also shooting better than 40 percent from the three-point line and 86 percent from the charity stripe. That percentage is actually down compared to most years for Nash, but it is still one of the best in the NBA.

Despite playing some of the best basketball of his career, Suns head coach Alvin Gentry has still managed to give his point guard plenty of breathers. Nash has already sat out two games through 21 games this season and his 31:18 minutes per game average is at their lowest total since the 1999-2000 season when Nash was with the Dallas Mavericks.

For those of us who have watched Nash's career closely, seeing him play at this high of a level at 37 years young is certainly no surprise. The man is one of the hardest workers in all of sports and is in unreal shape for a guy who is in his 16th season in the league.

The Suns may be a lottery team this year, but they are at least watchable as long as Nash remains on the roster.