Growing up loving basketball in Canada two players reigned supreme: Vince Carter and Steve Nash. That meant through the legs dunks/layups on lowered rims and practicing no look passes in driveways and playgrounds whenever possible. As I got older my love for the Raptors grew but every year I found myself hopping on the Suns playoff bandwagon, wanting to see the man who put Canadian basketball on the map finally get his ring.
Each year ended the same, with Nash and the Suns putting together a solid, but not good enough effort, providing some of the best playoff basketball series’ in recent memory against the Spurs and Lakers, but failing to actually win them. The championship window has came and passed, Amare left town along with Nash’s protege Goran Dragic, Jason Richardson went to Orlando for Marcin Gortat and the Suns missed the playoffs last season.
However Steve Nash has yet to stop giving it absolutely everything he has for the Suns, instead of forcing his way out of town for a chance at a ring Nash has come to play every night for the last year of his contract, chasing the assists title and leading an extremely weak Suns roster to an impressive 31-29 record and sit one game behind the Rockets for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.
The fact that the Suns are even in this position is impressive with a team that looked and should be headed for the lottery, but as always Nash has made those around him better, specifically Marcin Gortat who is finally reaching the potential we all noticed when he was backing up Dwight Howard. Nash has left no doubt that he is still one of the game’s most valuable point guards and team leaders but the question remains: Can he give Suns’ fans one last run of playoff memories?
With games against Portland, Oklahoma City the Clippers, Denver, Utah, and San Antonio left it is unlikely that the Suns will catch a Rockets squad that has a one game lead in addition to easy wins against New Orleans (twice) and Golden State left on the board, it seems that once again the odds are against Steve Nash.
Win or lose the city of Phoenix and the NBA has been treated to some of the best offensive basketball ever and owes a massive debt of gratitude to a man who has given everything to the Suns fans and the game of basketball in general. Sure the Suns maybe should have won a championship and passed up on some good regular seasons with early playoff exit, but with Nash likely looking for a change of scenery in free agency this summer one of basketball’s infamous runs is about to come to an end.
So take time over the next two weeks to watch one of the game’s legends do what he does best, hop on the Suns bandwagon if you want, but no matter what respect should be paid.
No matter how the next six games pan out: One thing should be remembered from the Steve Nash era in Phoenix: Never count out a goofy white Canadian.