Following last Sunday night’s victory over the San Antonio Spurs, which completed a four game sweep for the Phoenix Suns pushing them into the Western Conference Finals, Steve Nash once again walked off the court wearing yet another badge of honor and stoutness.
The Canadian-born point guard’s eye was swollen basically completely shut and needed six stitches, but this didn’t stop the tough Nash from getting back on the court for the most crucial moments of the game, and leading his squad to a huge victory. And that just about sums up what Steve Nash is all about.
The two-time Most Valuable Player and three-time All-NBA First Team selection has always been the floor general, and the heart and soul of his Phoenix Suns’ squads ever since he returned to his original franchise in 2004.
But what he has done this season continues to add to his very special legacy as one of the best point guards in NBA history.
Nash has shown the ability to take what some may see as a mediocre and no-name roster besides Amar’e Stoudamire, and take them to the Western Conference Finals.
Steve Nash has the unusual characteristic of directly making his teammates better while at the controls of the offense. His ability to penetrate and dissect defenses is unparalleled.
His leadership, toughness, and team first mentality are unheard of in today’s NBA.
It is hard to not root for this guy when watching the way he performs every time he takes the floor. His constant motor and all out effort is given for every second he is in the game, and it is quite apparent that he is always having a good time while doing it.
It is hard enough to play point guard efficiently at a normal pace, but Nash is able to produce at a historic level. He constantly handles and distributes the ball at a high-speed pace, while constantly being surrounded by much larger players.
Nash’s execution of the fast break and the pick-and-roll has virtually made an offense with him in control close to unstoppable.
His ability to accurately hit his teammates with precise passes after drawing the attention of a bulk of the defenders is uncanny. His picture perfect bounce passes leave pick-and-roll defenders helpless, and if the pass is taken away from him, Nash can also attack the hoop and finish with the best of them.
His creativity and flare is supreme. The court vision that he possesses came from his soccer background, and is vital in his ability to see opportunities and options before they are there or even recognized by his opponents.
A player like Nash is very difficult to fully appreciate how much he really produces for a team within his statistics. That is not saying Nash doesn’t fill the stat sheet, as he has averaged 17 points and 11 assists a game in his recent stint with the Suns, but a stat can't put a value on a team player like Nash.
Nash has also left his mark as one of the best shooters in NBA history.
He has finished four seasons of shooting over 50 percent from the field, over 40 percent from three-point land, and over 90 percent from the free throw line.
Larry Bird is the only other player in NBA history to do this more then once.
As if just being a fantastic player and leader on the court wasn’t enough, Nash is also known as one of the most media friendly and nicest guy off the hardwood too.
He is a very down to earth character who is nearly impossible to dislike.
Regardless of personal feelings though, Nash has obviously commanded the respect of all his peers and he is admired for that because of his successes as a man on and off the court.
Nash unfortunately holds the current record for most career playoff games without an NBA Finals appearance with 112. Nash is also the only MVP in NBA history not to make the NBA Finals.
These are two stats that Nash is surely out to overcome this season in what can quite possibly be the biggest underdog run to NBA Finals in the past decade.
Many seem to call into question the fact that Nash has won two MVP trophies because of the company he shares with historic names like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, but no accomplishments can be taken away from this tremendous player.
But regardless of his critics and the results of this season, Steve Nash is going to go to the NBA Hall of Fame and is going to be recognized as one of the best point guards in NBA history.
But that being said, the competitiveness of this tough Canadian will never say die.
Watching Phoenix Suns’ point guard and leader Steve Nash has always been a delight.
So, when it’s all said and done and the Finals are complete, it would be a great thing for him and the NBA to see such a man like Steve Nash lift that Larry O’Brien Trophy.