He was a hard wood smash…
Steve Nash retired this week from professional basketball and just for fun I would like to see a show of hands who had Steve Nash, even in his early days in Dallas with the Mavericks, a future hall of famer….Nooooobody had that. Certainly not Mr. Shark Tank himself, owner of the Mavs, Mark Cuban. He traded his exciting young point guard.
Sometimes in life it takes a #4 combo for things to line up the right way for maximum success. Nash was a very good basketball player before him and Phoenix Suns head man Mike D’Antoni had walked down the basketball isle together. It was ultimate matching making triumph of the highest athletic order. Nash had a coach who have him the freedom equal to the number one quarterback in the NFL and Nash gave D’Antoni the man who totally understood what his offense was all about. “Nash Manning” if you will…
People around the old watering hole still ask the question of whom made whom…No need for endless asking anymore. The answer is quite simple and clear….it was Nash making D’Antoni. Nash took the head coaches game plan and put it into uber over drive. The basic layout of offensive play calling option paints were there, but it was Nash who picked up the point guard brush and chose which landscapes to paint to bring out the brightest and most fulfilling masterpieces on a night to night basis. In a low tone, oil painter on PBS Bob Ross voice, “Here’s a happy little pass for two. And maybe he’s got a little alley-oop friend who wants to go play at the rim…”
Nash was a scary individual for the opposing team to game plan for. The reason being is because Nash improvised oh so well. He would make not just in game adjustments, but in play adjustments. His fundamentals and skills were results of countless hours of practice time. Nash has the best free throw % of all time. He was a tremendous pull up jump shooter in the hurried up half court set, semi fast break or when running the full speed break. He had quick feet (soccer feet) that would allow him to recover quickly on defense and tap dance his way to major confusion to his would be defender. He used the hook bounce pass at an alarmingly effective rate. His head up, pass first vision helped his team get countless easy buckets. He had hands that would get in the passing lane and creates precious turnovers. As his career progressed as did his three pony shot proficiency.
But Nash’s most important quality was his leadership. Guys genially loved playing with Steve. He always kept an upbeat attitude no matter what the scoreboard read. He had “Rudy” leadership and hall of fame talent. Although that elusive ring evaded his grasp in the end as it did to so many stars before him, he remained focused and determined to the very anatomical end.
Steve Nash’s body could no longer do what Steve Nash’s heart and soul required of it. There was no special regimen workout or health supplement that would fix it. In the end, it just became the end. But he recognized it and did what he always had done….He made the adjustment and is now ready for the next play in his life.