Is Steve Nash The NBA's Most Under-Appreciated Legend?
This past Saturday, the NBA saw one of the craftiest and classiest point guards to ever play step away from the game and retire.
Steve Nash, the South African-born, Canadian-raised, future Hall-Of-Famer called it quits via his Twitter account by posting his thoughts to The Player's Tribune, a platform New York Yankee great Derek Jeter founded.
The Tribune lets pro athletes voice their experiences through written work, videos and even podcasts.
Steve Nash's career ended after 19 seasons, leaving Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen as the only players left from the 1996 draft class, who plan on possibly continuing their careers.
Plagued with injuries since joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013, it seemed imminent that Father Time would eventually catch up to him.
But, we cannot so quickly forget all he did in his career.
C'mon, admit it: When you think of Steve Nash, a flashy pass for a dunk immediately comes to mind. "But, he didn't win a championship."
There are those of us who classify greatness by the number of rings on players' fingers by the end of their careers, and there are others who simply recognize greatness in the superiority of talent in players.
No matter how you put it, great should be great, regardless of championships.
Oscar Robertson, the original "all-around" player, who is the only man in NBA history to average a triple double — in his second season, at that — isn't talked about as much as Magic Johnson when it comes to all-time greats, despite Big O's outstanding statistics.
Why? Maybe because Magic has five times as much jewelry.
The point is, Steve Nash will be remembered as a great player, yes, but will he be one of the players we tell our kids about? Along with Kobe, LeBron, Tim Duncan?
I wonder the same for players like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook -- players who are formidably dominant when firing on all cylinders, but still haven't won a championship.
It's time to start remembering the players who have consistently wowed us, even if they didn't win a championship during their careers.
With all that being said, it seems Nash has too many notable accolades to not be talked about in the conversation of all-time greats.
Even more impressive, he's the sixth-oldest MVP winner behind the elite company of MJ, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. He's also the first Canadian to win the award.
It's often assumed that the point guard is the leader of the team — the one who makes sure everything is operating correctly on the court. If that's the case, then there's something to be said about what kind of leader Nash was on the Phoenix Suns.
Nash helped the Suns become the most potent offensive team in the NBA for nine straight seasons, leading the Suns into many playoff appearances and boasting some All-Star appearances, too.
When he played, he simply astounded fans, viewers and even his own teammates. Skip Bayless remarked:
"This man was a WIZARD of a passer of the basketball. To me, to my eye, he was the greatest 'wow' passer we've ever seen. "Wow passes, spectacular passes where you sat back and said, 'Where did he come up with that one?!' That happened EVERY night with Steve Nash."
On and off the court, Nash is a man of humility and good spirit.
Anyone who follows the NBA via Twitter could see how much respect the league had for him on Saturday, when players all over the league sent out tweets paying tribute to Nash and his long career. He was a trending topic within an hour.
It's surreal to see his retirement, but the question now is, where will he go from here?
Nash's future certainly holds a Hall-of-Fame induction, but let's not rule out further involvement in the NBA.
Seeing him take the reins of a team as a head coach would certainly be interesting.