Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash just turned 38 years old, and is arguably playing at a level as high or higher than when he won two straight league MVP awards from 2004 to 2006.
Nash is shooting 56% from the field and is leading the league in assists despite playing on a team that is ranked 15th in the NBA in field goal percentage (.445).
Western Conference coaches recognized Nash's play, and despite the Suns' sub-.500 record, picked the 16-year veteran as a reserve for this year's NBA All-Star Game in Orlando February 26.
One outspoken analyst took exception with Nash's inclusion.
"Clearly we gave Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki lifetime achievement awards," said Charles Barkley, the former Sun and current NBA on TNT analyst. "Kyle Lowry should have been an All-Star. I'm rewarding Kyle Lowry. No disrespect to Steve Nash."
Lowry of the Houston Rockets is averaging 14.8 points and 7.9 assists per game -- numbers inferior to Nash's totals. The Rockets, however, do have a winning record heading into Thursday's action.
The Villanova product is having a nice season and is developing into a solid NBA point guard. But fans league-wide, not to mention other Western Conference All-Stars, would rather see Nash on the floor for a game that features offensive brilliance.
Barkley has drawn legions of fans throughout his broadcasting career for his no-holds-barred approach and blunt comments, but on this one, he's wrong. Nash is very deserving of this honor, and it's clearly not based on lifetime achievement.
All Sir Charles has to do is look at the numbers. Or better yet, turn on a Suns game.