Steve Nash : The Great White Hope

Before College

Steve Nash was born on February 7, 1974 in South Africa. He comes from a very athletic family. While living in South Africa, his father, John Nash, played professional soccer for a minor league team while his mother was also a professional netball player. His brother, Martin, was a professional Canadian Soccer play and his sister, Joann, was captain of her college's soccer team for 3 years. While still a young boy, Steve's family moved to British Columbia, where he attended High School at St. Michaels University. During his High School basketball career, he averaged just over 21 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds per game, leading his team to a Championship Title. In his senior season he was named British Columbia's High School Player of the Year. For any other athlete, these feats would have been sure to gain you a nice scholarship, but such wasn't so for our Canadian All Star.

College Career

Being that this was a time before the European and Foreign invasion on the NBA, Canadian Basketball wasn't widely scouted, so Steve's efforts went unnoticed. Nash sent out over 30 letters of intent and highlight reels to different colleges, but had not one offer. Somehow Dick Davey, Head Coach of Santa Clara University, was informed about the Canadian sensation, or "Kid Canada" as his fans call him, and requested that Nash send him some highlight footage. After watching how Nash was dominating his competition, Coach Davey quickly made a trip to Northern California to meet up with Nash, hoping that no other colleges had seen what he had. Davey had seen something very promising in Nash and convinced the college to give him a full scholarship. The risk for Davey quickly paid off as Nash led the team to a West Coast Conference Title, with Nash being named the first freshman WCC MVP. The very same year Steve almost single handedly upset the #2 seeded Arizona Wildcats in the NCAA Championship tournament, shooting 6 straight free throws to win the game 64-61. The Santa Clara Broncos became only the 2nd #15th seeded team to ever defeat the #2 seed. His sophomore season didn't go as well as his freshman year as they didn't even qualify for the tournament. During his Junior season, Nash once again raised eyebrows, earning once again led the Broncos to the NCAA tournament, but lost in the first round to a very good Mississippi State team. After losing in the first round of the tournament Nash considered bypassing his senior season to enter the NBA draft, but quickly changed his mind when he realized he wouldn't go higher than the 2nd round. As Nash rounded out his senior season, he once again won the WCC player of the year award. Even though the Broncos lost the WCC tournament that year, they were given a #10 seeded playoff berth, which is very rare for a mid major college team. However they proved it was no fluke by defeating #7 Maryland only to lose in the 2nd round of the tournament.

NBA Career (1996-2004)


While still not a highly coveted player, the Phoenix Suns took a chance on Nash, drafting him #15 overall in the 1996 NBA draft. This pick however was widely unaccepted by the Suns' fanbase as they booed when they heard his name called. Since the Suns already had premier point guards like Kevin Johnson and Jason Kidd, Nash didn't see much playing time and was traded just 2 years into his professional career to the Dallas Mavericks. While with the Mavericks, Nash became friends with the 1998 draft pick of the Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, who shared the same passion for soccer. Plagued with injuries during his first 2 seasons with the Mavericks, Nash was only able to average 8.5 points and 5.3 assists per game, but the future held something nobody would have ever imagined. In 2000 Mark Cuban bought the Mavericks and attracted a vast fanbase with his flamboyant actions. In just his 3rd season with the Mavericks, Nash averaged a remarkable 15.6 points and 7.3 assists per game as his fellow team mate Dirk Nowitzki was blossoming into a future superstar. That same year Nash, along with Nowitzki, Juwan Howard and Michael Finley, led the Mavericks to their first playoff berth in over 10 years only to lose in the Western Conference Semi-finals to the San Antonio Spurs. The very next year Nash only increased his performance averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 assists per game, once again leading the Mavericks to the playoffs. However they once again lost in the Semi-finals. With many fans disregarding his efforts as a fluke, Nash still had something to prove. The next year in 2002, he virtually duplicated his previous season stats, earning him his first All Star appearance. Finally Nash was becoming a household name. Along with the other 2 members of the "Big Three", Nash led the team to a 14 game winning streak to start off the season, eventually returning to the playoffs for the third straight season only to lose to the eventual NBA Champion, Spurs. In Nash's final year with the Mavericks, he once again led them to the playoffs to go on to lose to the Kings.

Back to his roots


Following the 2003-2004 season, Nash was now a free agent. Wanting to build a younger team around Dirk Nowitzki, Cuban offered Nash only $36 million over 4 years. The Suns quickly offered Nash a $63 million contract, which Nash was reluctant to accept. Wanting to stay with the Mavericks, Nash proposed the contract to Cuban to see if he would meet it, but Cuban refused, landing Nash once again with the Phoenix Suns. Under the leadership of new Head Coach, Mike D'Antoni, the Suns were installing a faster paced offense, which was ideal for Nash's style of play. While then Suns were coming off of a previous 29-53 season, Nash helped to turn them around to win 60 out of 82 games, earning himself a League MVP award, becoming the first Canadian and only 3rd point guard to ever do so. During the playoffs that season the Suns swept past the Memphis Grizzlies to fittingly meet the Dallas Mavericks in the 2nd round. Nash led the Suns to a 4 games to 2 series win, making the Mavericks wish they had resigned him. Going to the Conference finals for the second time in his career, Nash once again lost to his long time rival, the Spurs.

The following season, Nash once again improved his numbers, leading the Suns to another playoff berth and earning himself the NBA MVP for the second year in a row. It took the Suns all 7 games to defeat their first two opponents in the 2005-2006 Playoffs only to place them against his former team, the Dallas Mavericks in the Conference Finals. Despite the efforts of Nash, the Suns once again lost the series.

In the 2006-2007 season Nash duplicated his numbers from the previous season, becoming the first player since Magic Johnson to average over 18 points and 11 assists per game. Nash only came in 2nd in the MVP voting losing by 39 votes to Dirk Nowitzki, his former team mate. The Suns once again made it to the playoffs, but were beaten by their rival, the Spurs, in the Conference Semi-finals.

Over the next 3 seasons Nash continued his stellar performance alongside such players as Amare Stoudamire, Shaquille O'Neal and Shawn Marion, making the NBA All Star team twice. The Suns made two more playoff appearances during this time, getting closer than they ever had to the NBA Finals game only to lose in 2010 by a game winning Ron Artest, Buzzer beating shot in the last second of game 6.

Career Accomplishment and Stats

  • 7 time NBA All Star
  • 3 time All NBA 1rst Team
  • 2 time All NBA 2nd Team
  • 2 time All NBA 3rd Team
  • 2 time NBA MVP
  • 2 time NBA All Star Skills Challenge Winner
  • 3 time Lionel Conacher Award Winner
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award Winner
  • Lou Marsh Trophy Winner
  • Order of Canada Honor
  • A Star on Canada's Walk of Fame
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree
  • 2 time WCC Player of the Year
  • WCC Tournament MVP
  • All time Santa Clara leader in Career Assists, 3 pointers and Free Throw %
  • 3rd All time leading Scorer in Santa Clara history
  • British Columbia High School Player of the Year

Career Statistics

  • Games Played:       1015 #86   all time
  • Field Goal %:           .489 #155 all time
  • 3 Point %:                .432  #5    all time
  • Free Throw %:       .9033  #2    all time
  • Assists per game:      8.3  #10  all time
  • Points per game:     14.6  #205 all time
  • Points:                  14,771 #116 all time
  • Assists:                      8.3  #10   all time
  • 3 Pointers made:    1,484  #5    all time

Steve Nash's Career Stats

Year
Team
Games
Games Started
Minutes per Game
Field Goal %
3 Point %
Free Throw %
Rebounds per Game
Assists per Game
Steals per Game
Points per Game
Field Goals Made
3 Points Made
Assists
Points Total
Free Throws Made
1996-1997
Phoenix
65
2
10.5
.423
.418
.824
1.0
2.1
.3
3.3
-
-
-
-
-
1997-1998
Phoenix
76
9
21.9
.459
.415
.860
2.1
3.4
.8
9.1
-
-
-
-
-
1998-1999
Dallas
40
40
31.7
.363
.374
.826
2.9
5.5
.7
7.9
-
-
-
-
-
1999-2000
Dallas
56
27
27.4
.477
.403
.882
2.2
4.9
.7
8.6
-
-
-
-
-
2000-2001
Dallas
70
70
34.1
.487
.406
.895
3.2
7.3
1.0
15.6
-
-
-
-
-
2001-2002
Dallas
82
82
34.6
.483
.455
.887
3.1
7.7
.6
17.9
-
-
-
-
-
2002-2003
Dallas
82
82
33.1
.465
.413
.909
2.9
7.3
1.0
17.8
-
-
-
-
-
2003-2004
Dallas
78
78
33.5
.470
.405
.916
3.0
8.8
.9
14.5
-
-
-
-
-
2004-2005
Phoenix
75
75
34.3
.502
.431
.887
3.3
11.5
1.0
15.5
-
-
-
-
-
2005-2006
Phoenix
79
79
35.4
.512
.439
.921
4.2
10.5
.8
18.8
-
-
-
-
-
2006-2007
Phoenix
76
76
35.3
.532
.455
.899
3.5
11.6
.8
18.6
-
-
-
-
-
2007-2008
Phoenix
81
81
34.3
.504
.470
.906
3.5
11.1
.6
16.9
-
-
-
-
-
2008-2009
Phoenix
74
74
33.6
.503
.439
.933
3.0
9.7
.7
15.7
-
-
-
-
-
2009-2010
Phoenix
81
81
32.8
.507
.426
.938
3.3
11.0
.5
16.5
-
-
-
-
-
Career
-
1,015
856
31.2
.489
.432
.903
3.0
8.3
.8
14.6
5,355
1,484
8,397
14,773
2,579

Other little known facts

Nash admits himself that he could have played professional soccer instead, but saw more money potential in the sport of basketball. He is the only Santa Clara player to have his jersey # retired (#11). He co owns Womens National Soccer with Yahoo President, Jeff Mallett. He is the only NBA player to have ever carried the Olympic torch and lit the Olympic Cauldron..

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Comments 7 comments

anchalpakar 6 years ago

good


Fenixfan profile image

Fenixfan 6 years ago from Mississippi Author

Thanks anchalpakar. I was scared this may offend other races with the title, so I want to clear up that I am not biased to any race. As you can see by my user name I am an avid Phoenix Suns fan. I fell in love with them in the Barkley/Johnson/Kidd days. I think I loved them to start off because of their uniforms. I thought the colors matched great when I was a kid.


anchalpakar 6 years ago

nice to know that, Im new here,slowly I'll open up with everybody


Dink96 profile image

Dink96 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Fantastic job. I'm a rabid Suns fan. Steve Nash has been the heart and soul of this team for years. He will be a tough act to follow.


Fenixfan profile image

Fenixfan 6 years ago from Mississippi Author

Steve Nash is most definitely the Man. I hate to see his career so shifted because of teams and coaches. I believe if he could have stayed with one coach and one team he would easily have a couple rings.


SportsInfo247 profile image

SportsInfo247 5 years ago from Arizona

I moved to Arizona in 1996, and was already a big fan of Steve Nash, even though the concensus was that he wouldn't play much with the Suns as you said. I just remember seeing him in the NCAA Tournament, and I knew he was going to be something special. So glad we got him back.


racquetsportatlas profile image

racquetsportatlas 5 years ago

Steve Nash doesn't count to me becuase he's not from the U.S. The best white American players would have to be Kevin Love and Blake Griffin (if you count half-white)!!

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