1. Steve Nash
(77.2 WS / .181 WS per-48)
If you thought that there was a chance anyone else might end up at the end of this list, then you must be too young to remember Steve Nash, and the incredible second stint he had with the Phoenix Suns.
Originally drafted by Phoenix, Nash was shipped off to Dallas after his second season, where he would spend he following six seasons that included two All-Star appearances.
But approaching the age of 30, and believed to be breaking down by Dallas Owner Mark Cuban, Nash was allowed to sign elsewhere, and when the Suns couldn’t land either Kobe Bryant or Tracy McGrady, they turned their attention to the long-haired point guard, and hitched their horse to his wagon.
The pairing up of Nash and Head Coach Mike D’Antoni was a match made in heaven. D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less approach, which even sped up the run-and-gun style that Phoenix had long been known for, took the idea that Nash was a good player, and made him a great one.
Winning two consecutive MVP’s in his first two seasons with Phoenix, and catapulting a team that wasn’t expected to make the playoffs in 2005 into the team with the best record in the league, Nash led the Suns to two consecutive Western Conference Finals appearances.
Along with the two MVP’s, his second stint included six All-Star games, three All-NBA First Team and two All-NBA Second Team honors. He would lead the league in assists six times, free throw percentage three times (with the greatest career percentage in league history, 90.4%), true shooting percentage twice, while shooting an incredible 43.7% from 3-point range, including two seasons that still stand as two of the top-ten best 3-point shooting seasons in club history, his 47.0% in 2007-08 being his personal best.
Nash’s accolades go on and on, but one in particular speaks for itself: like Grant Hill, had Nash not come to Phoenix, there is a chance that his career does not end with him a Hall of Famer. Unlike Hill who was truly great in Detroit well before coming to Phoenix, it was Nash’s second Suns stint (which began at the age of 30) that skyrocketed his career as being one of the greatest of all-time.