Steve Nash has done his level best to keep the Suns afloat all season long, through offensive droughts and ever-shifting rotations. On Thursday evening, the NBA coaches rewarded him for his efforts by selecting him as a Western Conference reserve for the 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando. It’s Nash’s eighth All-Star Game and his sixth as a Sun, which ties a franchise record held by Walter Davis.
Even at the tender young age of 38*, Nash is playing out of his mind. He’s having one of his best shooting seasons ever, posting his highest career effective field goal percentage (which takes the added value of 3-pointers into account) and second-highest true shooting percentage (which also includes free throw shooting) while still attempting his career-average number of shots per 36 minutes. The Suns are relying on Nash for more of their offense than ever this year, and he’s abiding; Nash assists on an estimated 57 percent of Suns field goals, an absurd number almost unparalleled in the annals of NBA history.
*Nash joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone as the only players to earn an All-Star bid at age 38 or older.
“It’s a great honor,” Nash said. “I was really flattered and humbled before the game.”
Now that he’s been selected for the game, the real battle begins. Suns fans must convince Nash that this is his one shot to give the fans what they truly want from Nash’s career.
I’m not talking about a trade or winning a championship. Last year, Nash let it be known that he promised a friend that he’d try to dunk in the All-Star Game if he were voted in by the fans. He wasn’t even picked last year, but the coaches took notice this season and rectified that wrong. No, he wasn’t voted in by the fans to be a starter, but the spirit of his comments are still alive and well, if you ask me.
#LetSteveDunk. It’s what the people want.
Michael Schwartz contributed reporting.