Steve Nash Still Owes Mike D'antoni a Little Bit of a Thank You

Cock of the WalkContributor INovember 12, 2009

PHOENIX - OCTOBER 30:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at US Airways Center on October 30, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Warriors 123-101.   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

This is in no way one of those pieces saying that former Suns coach Mike D'Antoni made Steve Nash good.  It's become quite obvious that Steve Nash is a very special player, possibly one of the best of all time.

Let's be honest, though; nobody would have ever been able to realize how good Nash is if D'Antoni hadn't come along and let Steve Nash be himself, rather than a prototypical point guard, like everybody had wanted from him his entire career.

And I know everybody is saying, "But look, he's doing even better under Alvin Gentry than he did under Mike D'Antoni!"

The truth, though, is that he's pretty much just back to playing under Mike D'Antoni.

Gentry was the head assistant under D'Antoni and has basically just re-instituted the offense the Suns used to play.

So really, that decline everybody saw Nash experience last season wasn't really Nash in decline as much as it was a shell of Steve Nash. 

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It's almost like instead of seeing Steve Nash play every night, we were watching the embodiment of Steve Kerr's outrageously stupid move of bringing in a coach from the outside that nobody on the team really had a connection with instead of either sticking with D'antoni or keeping a little continuity and going with his very qualified head assistant for the vacancy.

Nash and the Sun's offense go hand in hand.  If you take away that style, you take away a little of Steve Nash.  Yeah, he's still a great distributor and amazingly efficient shooter, but he's not really Steve Nash once you try to put the reigns of a "real offense on him."

And now look at Nash and the Suns.  They're runnin', gunnin', scorin' and giving up a crap-ton of points just like the good ol' days.

Only, if I'm correct, they're giving up a few points fewer a game and playing better defense because they're re-energized by a new coach and having their old style back.

So really, don't say that D'Antoni had nothing to do with this.  If he and Nash don't hook up, somebody like Terry Porter would've put the reigns on Nash and never allowed him to live up to his potential as a special PG, and if D'Antoni wouldn't have left Nash would've never realized how brown the grass on the other side is and would never have been spurred to have this renaissance we're seeing right now.


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