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Steve Nash among former Suns now eligible for Naismith Hall of Fame

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)

Former Phoenix Suns point guards Steve Nash and Jason Kidd for the first time are eligible candidates to be voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The hall of fame released its list of eligible candidates in several categories on Thursday, and finalists will be announced during the NBA’s All-Star weekend.

Inductees will be announced during the Final Four.

Kidd and Nash respectively rank second and third in career assists in NBA history. Joining them as first-time candidates are Grant Hill, who teamed with Nash from 2007-2012, along with Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton.

Nash, a two-time MVP with Phoenix in 2005 and 2006, was a first-round pick by the Suns in 1996.

He played for Phoenix from 1996-98 and in a second stint from 2004-12. The Canadian point guard and eight-time NBA All-Star out of Santa Clara also played for the Dallas Mavericks (1998-2004) and Los Angeles Lakers (2012-15).

Kidd, who is currently head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, played for the Suns from 1996-2001. He also spent time with the Mavericks (1994-96, 2008-12), New Jersey Nets (2001-08) and New York Knicks (2012-13).

Fellow former Suns players Paul Westphal (1975-80, 1983-84), who also coached Phoenix to the 1993 NBA Finals, joins Kevin Johnson (1988-1998, 2000) as former players eligible to be voted into the hall of fame.

Suns Ring of Honor member Cotton Fitzsimmons, who coached Phoenix in three stints (1970-72, 1988-92, 1996), is also eligible.

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