Hometown: Victoria B.C., Canada
Birthday: February 7, 1974
Experience: 15 years
Draft: 1996, 15th overall by Phoenix
College: Santa Clara
2011-12 Salary: $11,689,062
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2011-12 Season Outlook: At 37 (soon to be 38 in February) Nash certainly isn’t the two-time MVP of the early 2000s. But with that said, Nash is still capable of leading the NBA in assists while remaning one of the league’s most efficient point guards.
If the Suns’ supporting cast can knock down open looks and Nash has the driving lanes to do what he does best, there’s no reason he can’t defend his crown as the league’s top distributor this season.
Before the All-Star break when Nash was healthy, he averaged 16.8 points per game on 52.3 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three to go along with 11.6 assists. A lingering back injury hampered Nash’s production, but if he can remain healthy amidst the back-to-back-to-backs, his number should mirror last season’s.
The biggest question isn’t Nash’s health, but rather his supporting cast. He broke down late in games last season because he was asked to do too much without a secondary ball-handler next to him. The Suns didn’t address that need in the offseason, meaning it could once again be another exhausting season for Nash. – Mike Schmitz
Biography: For a 6-foot-3 point guard out of Santa Clara who lacks exceptional speed, quickness and athleticism, Steve Nash has turned in quite the career thus far. Two MVPs and seven All-Star appearances is something very few NBA players can say they’ve accomplished, and the 50-40-90 season five different times is something no NBA player can say they’ve ever done.
But it has been quite the journey for Nash to get where he is today. He was born in South Africa in 1974 to a Welsh mother and English father. Nash grew up in British Columbia, Canada, and picked up a basketball at age 12 after spending most of his life prior playing hockey and soccer.
Nash was a standout at St. Michaels University School but didn’t get recruited by any schools until Santa Clara made him an offer. He went on to become a three-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year and land atop the Broncos’ all-time assists leader board. After an impressive college campaign Nash was taken 15th overall in 1996 by the Phoenix Suns.
He played two years of spotty minutes in Phoenix during his first two seasons and was dealt to Dallas on draft day in 1998. Nash put together an impressive six-year run with the Mavericks, but returned back to the Suns when Dallas’ owner Mark Cuban failed to show Nash the money.
The rest is pretty much history. Nash found his dream coach in Mike D’Antoni, led the Seven Seconds or Less era, captured two MVPs and has been one of the most productive and consistent point guards in the game for the better part of a decade. No matter what crop of talent he’s been given, Nash has turned them into borderline All-Stars. He’s been the epitome of a point guard and even led the NBA in assists last season at age 36.
When Nash isn’t on the court he produces movies with his production company Meathawk. He’s done both short fun films and long ones with Meathawk, including an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Canadian legend Terry Fox. He’s very active off the court with charity and his Steve Nash Foundation. Nash also possesses a huge passion for soccer and is a part-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps, a team that will join the MLS in 2011. Nash was married to Alejandra Amarilla for five years before announcing they would be dissolving their marriage on Nov. 13, 2010. He has six-year-old twin daughters, Lola and Bella, and a son, Matteo, who was born on Nov. 12, 2010.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Nash: