With Steve Nash getting hurt once again against the Chicago Bulls the other night, it seems pretty clear to everyone except Nash, that he should hang them up. It’s sad that it has come to this for this once prolific player, but this is how it typically goes for most players, be they superstars or ordinary players. Father time is still undefeated, and no more is it clear than it is with Steve Nash.
Some might think this is a bit harsh, considering Nash just gave Evan Turner a killer crossover (someone 15 years younger), and ended up being a big highlight for sports programs. That may just have been his most memorable play during his brief and disastrous time with the Los Angeles Lakers.
His time with the Lakers has certainly been just that, disastrous, especially considering the way in which that 2012-2013 Lakers team came together. With the potentially great, and always enigmatic Dwight Howard joining forces with Nash, and the reigning superstars of L.A., Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol, it was supposed to send off Nash into the the sunset with that coveted championship ring, that has eluded him throughout his career.
Obviously, that plan imploded more spectacularly than anyone could have imagine due to injuries, defections to other teams, and general ineffectiveness. Nash has probably gotten off relatively easy, in comparison to his cohorts, which is somewhat understandable considering the age Nash was at the time of his joining the Lakers, but it still has to be a gut punch to Lakers fans, that thought they were getting a maestro with the ball.
Considering that he has won back to back MVP’s in his career (the same amount of MVP’s as Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant have combined!), he doesn’t seem to carry the public burden of other great players that haven’t won championships. Maybe that is due to his stature, as being an overachiever, considering his body type, or because he is seen as something a little less than great. While he did win those MVP’s, I don’t think there are many people that believe he was the best player in the game, at any point in his career.
He was a good player with the Dallas Mavericks, someone that made for any interesting combination with Dirk Nowitzki, but wasn’t seen as an elite player. It wasn’t until he moved to the Phoenix Suns, after Mark Cuban deemed a long term contract too risky for someone of his build, that he became a superstar. In Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun offense, Nash put up crazy numbers, and was probably the best point guard in the game for a couple seasons, after Jason Kidd’s play fell off, and before Chris Paul came into his own.
In retrospect his career was phenomenal, probably one of the 40 or so best players of all time, purely because of his offensive game (not much to talk about, regarding his defensive game), it just wasn’t quite as good as his MVP’s might suggest.