With likely just one more basketball season left of Steve Nash’s storied career, the last we’ve seen of the eight-time NBA All-Star is drawing close. Plagued by injuries and nerve issues during his season and a half with the Lakers, even Nash knows that fans are looking forward to having his salary off the books.
Despite his struggles, Nash is not yet ready to concede to Father Time and has even begun documenting his latest struggles in a Grantland video series. Additionally, since his recent injuries and constant struggle with nerve issues, Nash has taken some time to reflect on his career.
In an interview with a Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, the two-time NBA MVP reflected on his style of play through the years. Nash made a comparison to 2014 NBA All-Star Stephen Curry, current point guard for the Golden State Warriors:
I see a lot of similarities in some ways in my game with Stephen Curry’s game but he was a two-guard and I think he became a point guard after the fact, so he has a mentality to shoot and score and I think it’s terrific and in some ways I wish I had more of that mentality, but I came into the game as a passer and a playmaker and had to be pushed to score.”
Like Nash, Curry did not receive any scholarship offers from any major conference schools coming out of high school. By the time Curry had opted out of his senior year at Davidson College, he set a handful of different records.
He left Davidson with all-time records in three-point field goals, free throws, 30-point games and 40-point games. He also set single-season school records in points and steals, as well as the record for single-season NCAA 3-point field goals. As a freshman, Curry even set the single-season NCAA freshman 3-point field goals record and record for most points by a freshman in a single season at Davidson College.
Nash had a couple accolades when he finished his career at Santa Clara, but not quite like Curry. He finished his college career as Santa Clara’s all-time leader in career assists, and free-throw percentage, as well as made and attempted three-pointers, remaining third on the school’s all-time scoring list.
When thinking of Curry’s attributes, the first thought that comes to mind is his jump shot. When thinking of Nash’s biggest strength, it’s his ability to get players the ball, to set someone else up for the perfect shot.
While Nash reminisced about the similarities of his own game with that of the sharp shooter, Nash also came to the realization that maybe he could have improved his game if he had been a bit more selfish.
I see a lot of similar skill sets,” Nash continued on about Curry on Hang Up and Listen. “That doesn’t mean that he’s more selfish than I am. I think that maybe I should have been more selfish.”
Whether or not Nash’s game could have improved if he had been more selfish, much of Nash’s legacy will be derived from that very quality he lacked. The vision of the floor, the pass that leads to the pass that leads to the shot, those moments for which we all will remember Nash’s legacy, those came from a player always looking to make those around him better.
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