The Phoenix Suns were title perennial contenders in the mid-2000s. While Steve Nash won two MVP awards, he really should have won three.
Steve Nash, the 8-time NBA All-Star and 2018 basketball Hall of Fame inductee, is undoubtedly a Phoenix Suns legend, but something is missing. Everybody knows Steve Nash has won 2 MVP awards during his NBA career, but he should have a third trophy on his résumé.
At the start of the 2006-07 NBA season, Nash was the back-to-back reigning MVP, and the Phoenix Suns were a top 2 seed each year. Phoenix was a contender with guys like Leandro Barbosa (who would turn out to be the 2007 sixth man of the year), Boris Diaw, Shawn Marion, and Amar’e Stoudemire. Led by coach Mike D’Antoni, the Suns were looking like a near-lock for the NBA championship. Many try to argue that Nash did not deserve any of his MVP awards since the Suns were so good, but the real fans know, Nash made this team play to their full potential as any deserving MVP does.
Amar’e Stoudemire only played 3 games in the 2005-06 season, yet the Suns were still a top 2 seed, and that is thanks to Steve Nash. Nash had a lot to prove with Stoudemire coming back. He had to show this was still his team, and he was the engine that made the team go.
Nash had an amazing season in 2007, averaging 18.6 points per game, 3.5 rebounds, and a career-high 11.6 assists per game on an absurd 53/45/89 shooting splits, all while running the number one offense in the league. Phoenix, once again, finished 2nd in the Western Conference and were hoping to win their first NBA championship.
However, not only did the Suns not win the title, Dirk Nowitzki won the 2007 NBA MVP, beating out Nash, and stopping him from winning three in a row.
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Dirk finished with 83 first-place votes and a total of 1,138 points won. Nash came in second with 44 first-place votes and 1,013 total points. Nowitzki had an incredible season, averaging 24/8/3 on 50/41/90 shooting numbers, but to me, Nash was still the clear choice for MVP.
Nash was still the man in Phoenix. Without him, they were simply not good. The Suns were 2-4 when Nash did not play, despite having two other All-Stars and the sixth man of the year on the roster.
Dallas, on the other hand, was 3-0 without Dirk. Now I am not saying they are better without him, Dallas just did not rely on him to do as much as Steve Nash did for Phoenix.
When you put together the stats, the leadership, and the performance without him playing, the overall dominance of the team in the regular season, I do not see how Steve Nash was not the 2007 MVP. Nash was as efficient as they come, a true point guard, and an amazing teammate.
While a team’s performance in the playoffs has nothing to do with MVP voting, I think the whole Tim Donaghy situation and how they had to essentially rig the games to stop Nash and the Suns that season goes to show how good he was and why he should have been the MVP.