It may be too soon, but what kind of legacy is Steve Nash leaving behind? Put aside, for a moment, the trades and offseason moves that have clouded the last five seasons, and acknowledge what Nash has done for the city of Phoenix.
“Everyone knows what he has done for the franchise. If you go back the last eight years, we’ve had some very good seasons,” Head Coach Alvin Gentry said. “The first year he was here we won 62 games, and had a championship caliber team. Obviously we’ve had tough times beating San Antonio.”
Those tough times include some of the most heartbreaking games Suns fans have ever seen, but also include some of the most impressive acts of athleticism and dedication to a franchise the team has seen.
Nash has led the Suns to five playoff appearances in those eight seasons, including three trips to the Western Conference Finals. Keep in mind that before Nash arrived in Phoenix, the Suns had only been to the Conference Finals six times in franchise history.
“All you have to do is look back at the cut above the nose, the cut above the eye, and all the things he has tried to play through while he’s been here,” Gentry said. “For me, having the opportunity to coach him for eight years is something everyone should have the chance to experience.”
His ability to take bench players and turn them into scorers is unmatched by almost any point guard the league has seen, and his ability to year after year put bottom tier teams into the race is remarkable. From clutch shots to shaking off brutal hits like they were nothing, the two time MVP’s dedication can never be second guessed.
“He’s been that guy that’s made big plays for us,” Gentry said. “He’s been the guy that’s been the heart and soul for our team.”
In a league filled with players who more and more often display acts of selfishness, demanding trades and refusing to play through the ends of seasons, (without naming names) Steve Nash reminds us all what playing with dignity really means.
“He’s the most low maintenance super star you can ever deal with. And I think he’s all about the team,” Gentry said. “He’s all about the team.”
As the summer begins and the speculation builds, just for a moment, take a step back to reflect on the memories you have while watching one of the most entertaining point guards the NBA has ever seen.