Who says there’s no chivalry in professional basketball?
Really, no one said that? Geoffrey Chaucer? Sir Walter Scott?...Dustin Diamond? No? OK.
Anyway, Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said something chivalrous earlier today:
Mark Jackson wishes Steve Nash surpassed his assists mark during Lakers-Warriors game http://t.co/2cmVumRDHw— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 10, 2014
Nash finished the night with five assists, which likely tied him with at least two cotton candy vendors, because how else can you explain 275 points with no overtimes?
In all seriousness, it’s a remarkable feat, and Jackson acknowledged it as such in Medina’s story for the Los Angeles Daily News:
I respect [Steve Nash’s] greatness and it was good to see. There was no side of me pulling against him. At any point, my day will come and go and whatever I accomplished will fade away… I would’ve blown a timeout and congratulated him. In an ideal world, Steve would have done this the same time we were on the floor. I would be sitting, watching and appreciating it all.
The only two players ahead of Nash (10,335) are John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091).
At 40 years old and in the midst of a much-publicized battle with a myriad of nagging injuries, it seems unlikely Nash has any chance of moving any further up the record-book ladder.
Which, if said a certain way, kind of makes it sound like a bad thing.
It is not. Steve Nash will go down as one of the best pure passers—as well as one of the best shooters, leaders and teammates—in the history of the NBA.
Think he’d have signed up for that as the No. 15 pick out of little-heralded Santa Clara University back in 1996? Absolutely.
As for Jackson, he deserves a pat on the back for this. Sometimes it feels like bypassed legends have to force congratulations—often through boilerplate public statements.
Outwardly acknowledging that you’d have called a timeout to congratulate your usurper, in real time? That seems rare. And kind of cool.