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Former Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash announces retirement

After 19 years in the NBA, former Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash announced his retirement Saturday in a letter published to The Players Tribune:

“The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much — visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes. The obsession became my best friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my ass by her.

And that is what I’m most thankful for in my career. In my entire life, in some ways. Obviously, I value my kids and my family more than the game, but in some ways having this friend — this ever-present pursuit — has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable. I am so thankful. I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons about myself and about life. And of course I still have so much to learn. Another incredible gift.”

Nash’s career included two consecutive MVP honors, eight All-Star selections, 10,335 assists (third most in NBA history) and an NBA all-time best 90.4 percent career free throw shooting percentage.

Nash, 41, was with the Suns from 1996-98, then went to Dallas from 1998-2004 before returning to Phoenix for eight seasons. He ended his career with the Los Angeles Lakers after the team gave him a three-year, $28 million deal in 2012.

The Suns released the following statement regarding Nash’s decision to retire:

“The Phoenix Suns congratulate two-time MVP Steve Nash on an incredibly successful NBA career. During his time in Phoenix, Steve epitomized what it means to be a winner. His leadership, work ethic and commitment to excellence set an example for those around him. Steve’s success on the court was matched by his philanthropic efforts off of it, which have left a lasting impact on our great fans and city. Congratulations, Steve. We are proud to call you a Phoenix Sun!”