On this day twenty four years ago, a handful of basketball legends were selected in the 1996 NBA Draft. This draft class included 4 NBA MVPs, 57 all-star appearances, 19 NBA titles, and 37 All-NBA selections. Some of the legends include, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Stephon Marbury, Peja Stojakovic, Ray Allen, and Steve Nash.
Out of all of these NBA legends my favorite was definitely Steve Nash. I won’t lie I’m not even a big basketball guy, however since I was a little kid, I was a Phoenix Suns fan (no idea why). I just remember seeing old pictures of me rocking a Suns t-shirt, shorts, and sometimes even a hat everywhere I went. Anyways, Nash was drafted by the Suns in 1996. His career was short lived there as he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998.
It was when he was with the Mavericks I became a huge fan of him. I think it was mainly because he was a Canadian playing basketball, very cool in my opinion. Nash established himself as one of the best point guards in the game while playing with the Mavericks. During his time with the Mavs, Steve played alongside stars like Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, and Juwan Howard. Eventually Nash, Nowitzki, and Finley became known as the “Big 3” in Dallas, and their success lead to difficult contract negotiations in the 2003-2004 offseason. As the Mavericks looked to build the franchise around Dirk Nowitzki, the 30 year old Steve Nash was left out of a long term deal, allowing the Phoenix Suns to step in and sign the free agent for a six year, $63 million deal.
Nash made his return to Phoenix in 2004 and played there until 2012, winning two league MVP awards during his second stint with the Suns. As a “life-long” Suns fan I was excited to see him return to the best team in the league. Steve Nash eventually ended his career in 2015 with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nash finished in the top of the NBA history books for three-point shooting, free-throw shooting, and total assists and assists per game. In addition to his amazing NBA stats, Nash was and still is a great influence off of the court. In fact, in 2006 Nash was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
I know I am not a huge basketball guy, but Steve Nash will always hold a place in my heart. The guys dedication to the game includes hard work on and off the court. His automatic three pointers and free throws make him one of the best players to ever play the game, and did I mention he’s Canadian?