Steve Nash: Worst MVP Choice in NBA History

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IJune 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 10:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns laughs with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at the Staples Center on December, 10 2008 in Los Angeles, California.   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 Harry How/Getty Images)

There's a lot of words that can be described for Steve Nash, but MVP he is not. In fact Nash will go down as the worst MVP choice in NBA history.

Most of the words to describe Nash relate to his offensive ability, but when you go to describe his defense, there are no words to describe how terrible he is at the defensive end.

In fact during those MVP seasons that Nash had, the majority of the time Shawn Marion was guarding the opposing team's point guard. The reason being is Nash couldn't guard the point guard.

Nash won his two MVP awards back to back one in the 2004-2005 season and the other in the 2005-2006 season. Yet, the only reason he won it was because the media fell in love with the Mike D'Antoni style: Wide-open offense that called for a lot of scoring, but absolutely no defense.

His stats for the two awards looked like this:

  • 2004-2005: 15.5 points per game, 11.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 steala, 3.3 turnovers, 50.2 percent shooting, 43.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 88.7 percent from the free throw line.
  • 2005-2006: 18.8 points per game, 10.5 assists per game, 4.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 51.2 percent shooting, 43.9 percent from beyond the arc, and 92.1 percent from the free throw line.

Those are nice numbers, but let's compare them to some of the other point guards two best seasons in the NBA that did not win a MVP award.

Kevin Johnson:

  • 1988-1989: 20.4 points per game, 12.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 4.0 turnovers, 50.5 percent shooting, .091 percent from beyond the arc, and 88.2 percent from the free throw line.
  • 1990-1991: 22.5 points per game, 11.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 3.6 turnovers, 49.9 percent shooting, 19.5 percent from three, and 83.8 percent from the free throw line.

Tim Hardaway:

  • 1992-1993: 21.5 points per game, 10.6 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 3.3 turnovers, 44.7 percent shooting, 33 percent from beyond the arc, and  74.4 percent from the line.
  • 1991-1992: 23.4 points per game, 10 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 3.3 turnovers, 46.1 percent from the field, 33.8 percent form three, and 76.6 percent from the free throw line.

John Stockton:

  • 1989-1990: 17.2 points per game, 14.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 2.7 steals, 3.5 turnovers, 51.4 percent shooting, 41.6 percent from beyond the arc, and 81.9 percent from the free throw line.
  • 1990-1991: 17.2 points per game, 14.2 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 2.9 steals, 3.6 turnovers, 50.7 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 83.6 percent from the free throw line.

Chris Paul:

  • 2007-2008: 21.1 points per game, 11.6 assists, 4 rebounds, 2.7 steals, 2.5 turnovers, 48.8 percent shooting, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc, and 85.1 percent from the free throw line.
  • 2008-2009: 22.8 points per game, 11 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 3.0 turnovers,  50.3 percent shooting, 36.4 percent from three, and 86.8 percent from the free throw line.

Deron Williams:

  • 2008-2009: 19.4 points per game, 10.7 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 3.4 turnovers, 47.1 percent from the field, 31 percent from beyond the arc, and 84.9 percent from the free throw line.
  • 2007-2008: 18.8 points per game, 10.5 assists per game, 1.1 steals, 3.4 turnovers, 50.7 percent shooting, 39.5 percent from three, and 80.3 percent from the free throw line.

Now let's take a look at players with multiple MVP Awards. Here's the list Nash, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) Bill Russell (five), Michael Jordan (five), Wilt Chamberlain (four), Magic Johnson (three), Moses Malone (three), Tim Duncan (two), Karl Malone (two), Bob Pettit (two), and of course Nash with two.

The only name on the list that doesn't belong is Nash. How embarrassing it must be for these great players to have to look down on the list and see that Nash joined in. A player with no defensive skills.

Here's another question: If Nash was the MVP of the league how come he was the third-best player on the Suns?

At least Amare Stoudemire tries to play defense, and Marion of course is a great defender, and also was great scorer as well.

Even with Stoudemire out for one of those years, Raja Bell and Boris Diaw stepped up their offense, but both of those players also were solid defenders. Nash may have helped get them the ball, but they made more effort on defense than Nash has ever shown.

Even then for the MVP for the 2004-2005 the argument could have been made for Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, and even Nash's teammate Stoudemire would have been a better choice.

For 2005-2006 an argument again could have been made for Duncan, Iverson, Bryant, James, Dwyane Wade, or Shawn Marion.

The problem now is that the media portrays the flashiness of players and not by their consistency and by the numbers. If you compared Nash's stats to other players that averaged over 15 points per game and 10 assists, Nash comes in last on the list.

Also, what makes Nash's turnovers so bad is that he absolutely cannot make up for his turnovers because he doesn't have the defensive ability to steal the ball from an offensive player.

This is why to me that Nash will always be considered overrated, he doesn't do enough to be a MVP.

Yes, the argument that can be made is if you took Nash off of the Suns team they wouldn't have gotten very far without him, but if you substitute a Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Tim Hardaway, John Stockton, and Kevin Johnson in with their abilities and they would have made the Suns a tougher team in the playoffs as well as in the regular season.

A reason for that is these players that are mentioned can play in a fast-tempo offense or the halfcourt offense. Nash can only play in one style offense, and that is the fast tempo.

Nash never bought into Terry Porter's system and refused to change his ways. After the Suns spent a majority of the time trying to understand the concept of defense, Steve Kerr, the general manager of the Suns let go of Porter, and in his place Alvin Gentry took over.

Gentry was a former assistant of Mike D'Antoni and employed the same fast-paced offense that Nash was used too and his numbers improved under Gentry.

It is for these reasons why Nash is the most undeserving MVP winner in NBA history.