What a career it has been for Steve Nash, a legend to the worldwide basketball image, today Steve Nash announced his retirement from the league after an astonishing 19 years. Nash has been fighting on-going injuries the past few seasons and has not played this season for the Lakers due to nerve damage in his back.
Nash posted an article to "The Players Tribune", titling it "Life After Basketball" where it was officially announced. He writes about everything from his love for the game, to how it motivated him, about his personal life and even goes back to his high-school life.
Nash writes in the beginning of his announcement,
I heard someone once say there comes a day when they tell us all that we can’t play anymore. We’re not good enough. Surplus to requirements. Too slow, maybe. When you’re a teenager with outsized dreams and a growing obsession, and someone tells you this ain’t gonna last forever, it’s scary. I never forgot it.
So what did I do? Stayed obsessed. Set goals. Worked. Dreamed. Schemed. Pushed myself beyond what was normal or expected. I looked at my hero, Isiah Thomas, and thought to myself, “OK, I’m nowhere near the player he is but if I get better every day for 5 or 10 years, why can’t I be as good as him?”
Nash averaged 14.3 points and 8.5 assists through out his career. He was precisely dominant from three point range, becoming one of the greatest three point shooters in NBA history. Nash shot 42.3% from three point range placing him currently ninth best of all time. Also he is fifteenth on the all time three pointers made list.
Nash was born in South Africa and grew up in British Colombia where he was on the pursuit to perfect the game of basketball. Nash was also very much into soccer. Eventually Steve Nash was entered into the NBA draft, being a first round pick, where the Phoenix Suns drafted him in 1996.
Nash had lots of great aspects in his game, but one where he's most known by is his court vision. He made many other players look great just by his great passing skill. He was a true point guard, he did what he had to do, but at the prime of his career, he did it better than most point guards. He earned himself two consecutive MVP's.
One of Nash's best friends, an NBA champion and to be hall of famer, Dirk Novitzki were first paired together when the Suns traded Nash to the Mavericks.
"I remember when Dirk and I were nobodies. He used to say over dinner sometimes, “How are us two stiffs gonna make it in this league?” Somehow we made something of ourselves. After all the wins and all the great times we've had around the world together, what really means the most to me are the late nights early in our careers when we’d go back to the Landry Center in Dallas, to play a few more games of HORSE and one-on-one. Dirk and the great city of Dallas got their championship, and I couldn't be happier for them.
Michael Finley was twice an All-Star in his prime, when Dirk and I were young guys on the Mavs. Michael never played in another All-Star Game, but our team went from last place to the Conference Finals under his watch. Do you know how rare that unselfishness is in our game? A true friend and teammate."
Nash ended up eventually joining Kobe Bryant and the famous Los Angeles Lakers. He had plans to go there and win a championship, unfortunately that never happened.
"I will likely never play basketball again. It’s bittersweet. I already miss the game deeply, but I’m also really excited to learn to do something else. This letter is for anyone who’s taken note of my career. At the heart of this letter, I’m speaking to kids everywhere who have no idea what the future holds or how to take charge of their place in it. When I think of my career, I can’t help but think of the kid with his ball, falling in love. That’s still what I identify with and did so throughout my entire story.
Lastly, Lola, Bella and Matteo, you’re the center of my universe. All my focus and energy is here for you guys and moving forward, I couldn’t think of anything more exciting or rewarding."
Sad to see you go Steve, it seemed like nobody could dislike you.