This Day in Phoenix Suns History: Steve Nash returns

Steve Nash Phoenix Suns (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Steve Nash Phoenix Suns (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The greatest point guard in Phoenix Suns history continued his legendary career with a 2nd stint with the Suns that would raise them to epic heights.

Well, its another edition of “this day in Phoenix Suns history”. We’ve done this a few times now, but this date is a truly historic one for Suns fans. Let’s dive in.

16 years. It is crazy how much has come and gone in that time. Playstation portables, Spider-Man 2, Kanye West’s “The College Dropout”, the creation of Facebook, it’s been a while. In the NBA world, the Detroit Pistons had just won the NBA championship and ended the Shaq/Kobe Dynasty. A certain rookie named LeBron James was entering the league, and the Sacramento Kings were actually relevant. The western conference was as stacked as ever, with several teams vying to represent the west in the NBA finals.

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The Phoenix Suns weren’t one of those teams. The 2003-2004 squad had just finished 29-54, and even with exciting young prospects like Amare Stoudamire and Joe Johnson, it wasn’t pretty. 21 games in, embattled coach Frank Johnson was shown the door and relative newcomer Mike D’ Antoni was in, yet he couldn’t turn the ship in the right direction that year, as he would finish the season 21-40.

Steve Nash would almost stage a Phoenix Suns turnaround with a remarkable year over year improvement.

In the offseason, the Suns decided to swing for the fences, to try and make a move to get at the upper echelon, right up with the Lakers, the Spurs, and the Kings, as well as a very good Timberwolves team. The Suns went big for a free agent point guard who had already had a tour of duty with them before exploding on the scene as the head of a fast-paced offensive attack for the Dallas Mavericks. He was an AMAZING passer, a great shooter, and a leader beyond compare. He was also 30 and tended to wear down physically deeper into the year.

The Suns re-signed point guard Steve Nash.

How did that work out? Well for starters, Nash teamed with D’antoni to jump-start the Phoenix Suns offense to the #1 offense in the league. They also turned the previous year’s record on its head, going from the aforementioned 29-54 to the best record in the western conference (and the entire NBA) at 62-20. They finally ran out of gas in the western conference finals against the Spurs, yet the turnaround was tremendous, and for his massive efforts, Nash would win that year’s MVP award.

For nearly another decade the Phoenix Suns would benefit greatly from Nash’s presence, cementing themselves as a contender and nearly making the finals in 2006 and 2010. Before departing Nash would rack up a ton of accolades. Over eight seasons with the Suns, Nash would win MVP and lead the league in assists twice each, become both a five-time all-star and all-NBA team, and finish shooting 50% from the field, 40% from three-point range, and 90% from the free-throw line five times.

What a career, what a time. It’s been 16 years, but think of Steve Nash and the Suns of that time, and it will feel like it was just yesterday. What a happy anniversary to Nash’s return, indeed.

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