Steve Nash might not know where he will be suiting up next season, but he knows where his heart is.
On Tuesday, the two-time NBA MVP was named the GM of Canada Basketball’s senior men’s national team.
This is great news for Canada Basketball. With a wealth of young talent who will be in the program in the years to come, having the country’s most successful professional player and biggest ambassador on board is a smart move.
The 38-year-old Nash is currently a free agent coming off of a season in which he shot a mind-boggling 53 percent from the floor, 39 percent from the three-point line and 89 percent from the free-throw line, while averaging 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game for the Phoenix Suns.
If there’s a name (and a face) that represents Canadian basketball, it’s Nash. It’ll be great for those athletes who are involved with the program to benefit from the guidance and wisdom of the future Hall of Famer.
Don’t look at this new role as any indication that Nash will not be in an NBA uniform next season, especially after coming off such a great year. With plenty of teams eager to complement their rosters with a savvy veteran, there is money to be made and he will make it.
Passionate about basketball in Canada, here’s what Nash had to say at a press conference announcing his new role (via National Post):
Nash, 38, said he is up to the challenge of turning the program into an international success.
“I’m thrilled to be able to take on this challenge. We have lots of work to do and I’m excited to get started,” he said. “With the talent we are developing in this country, Canada has an opportunity to become one of the top basketball nations in the world. There is no reason why, if we nurture and support these great young players and give them the tools they need, that we can’t be a medal contender at the Olympics.”
While Nash is rightfully singled out as Canada’s greatest export, there is a new wave of talent on the cusp of reinventing Canadian basketball. Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph both entered the NBA last season, with Thompson being a fourth overall pick.
On Tuesday afternoon, Twitter timelines were flooded with Canadian prep stars and college players expressing their congratulations and excitement over Nash’s news. This is great for Canada Basketball. As a Canadian who loves this game, I’m happy.
If you’re an American who thinks it’s only hockey up here, take note. And if you’re not familiar with the name Andrew Wiggins, start brushing up now. You’ll thank me later.