Steve Nash Biography
Steve Nash is a well-known NBA basketball player known for his consistent performance on the basketball field, and also his philanthropic endeavors. Time Magazine called him one of the world’s 100 most Influential People in the year 2006.
Nickname: Kid Canadian
Date of Birth: 7th February, 1974
Place of Birth: Johannesburg, South Africa
Origin: British, Canadian
Known for: Professional Basketball Player
Childhood and Growing Years
Stephen John Nash was born on 7th February, 1974 in Johannesburg, South Africa to father John Nash who was of English descent and mother Jean Nash who was Welsh. They were both sportspersons, his father was a professional soccer player in South Africa, and his mother was on the National women’s netball team in England. He had two siblings a brother and a sister – Martin and Joann who both went onto become sportspersons as well.
His parents moved to Vancouver, Canada soon after his birth, and later relocated to Victoria in British Columbia. He went to a boarding school called St. Michaels University School where he developed an interest in sports, playing rugby, ice hockey, soccer and basketball. He was never exclusively interested in basketball, and he admits to have preferred playing soccer to basketball even in childhood. He started playing basketball when he entered his teens, and soon proved his prowess in the game. In 1991-1992, he won his school team the provincial British Columbia AAA championship title and was awarded “Player of the Year” for his province that year. He won a Sports Scholarship to the Santa Clara University for the 1992-1993 season, and won quite a few tournaments for them like the WCC (West Coast Conference) Tournament Title and a few other wins in some play-offs against other universities.
Claim to Fame
Nash began to get noticed in the 1995-96 season, as he spent the previous summer training with the national Canadian basketball team and honing his game and working out with NBA players like Gary Payton and Jason Kidd. He helped Santa Clara capture the second WCC Tournament Title and he was reinstated Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive time. He graduated from Santa Clara and later got his #11 jacket retired from the Santa Clara team, which was the first time in the history of the college that that had happened. He went on to pursue his NBA career.
Phoenix Suns (1996-1998)
His recruitment into the NBA draft of the Phoenix Suns in 1998 was met with disapproval from the Phoenix Suns fans because despite his accomplishments in his college team, he hadn’t played in any of the major college league games, and so he was relatively unknown to people. He did not give any stellar performances in his first season in the NBA, and seemed to be a support to Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd and Sam Cassell. In his second season, he performed better and was even placed 13th overall in the three point field goal percentage league. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks team in the 1998 NBA draft.
Dallas Mavericks (1998-2004)
It was in this team that Nash really came into his own as a point guard. While with the Phoenix Suns his talents were underutilized, with the Mavericks, he soon emerged as one of the top players in the game and into the limelight. He played 40 games for this team in the first year with them, and he started the game for his team in all of them. He posted his career high scores during the 2001-2002 season and earned many honors one of which was a much coveted spot in the NBA All Star Game. Even though he reached new career highs in 2003-2004, his comparative performance and contribution in the Mavericks was reducing. He became a free agent after the 2003-04 game, and signed on with the Phoenix Suns again for a $63 million contract.
Return to Phoenix Suns (2004-current)
He joined the Suns as an All-Star when the team had a spat of poor performances and showed no signs of improvement. The then-coach Mike D’Antoni decided to make use of the athleticism of his team players and adopt an offensive approach with Nash as point guard. This strategy worked well for the team with the overall team performance showing significant improvement over the years.
He still plays for the Phoenix Suns since becoming a free agent in 2004. He has renewed his contract for the 2010-11 seasons. He plays point guard for them, and is used in defense as well as offense plays on the court. He is quite selective when it comes to brand endorsements and prefers to work with socially responsible companies. Nike and Steve Nash have had a long relationship since he signed on with them in early 2000. He recently split from Alejandra Amarilla in November 2010, soon after the birth of their third child. They were married nine years.
Awards and Nominations
He was twice awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2005 and 2006. He became the first white player to win the award since 1986. ESPN put him in the top ten greatest point guards of all time, with Nash ranking ninth in that list.
He won the Lou Marsh trophy in 2004 and the Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2007. He is also a 7-time NBA All Star, almost consistently appearing in the league since the 2002 season till date.
“People have always doubted whether I was good enough to play this game at this level. I thought I was, and I thought I could be. What other people thought was really always irrelevant to me.”
“We were excited to win, staying undefeated is just the icing.”
“The playoffs are the playoffs. You just play who is put in front of you.”
“What happened in the past is just that, the past. Champion or not.”
“You should be able to voice your opinion and respect the voice of the other side. You should be willing to educate yourself and know what it is you’re dealing with.”