2. Steve Nash (40.4% of the vote)
A lot of fans are going to be outraged that Steve Nash is not taking top spot here. In 10 years and across two stints with the organization, he won a pair of league MVP awards and piloted the “seven seconds or less” era that we all look back on so fondly now.
Nash was a tremendous floor general, tough as nails and willing to do whatever it took to win. You never felt like it was about the spotlight for him, and he seemed a lot more comfortable teeing up the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion. As such, his career averages of 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds don’t stack up next to otherworldly talents such as Barkley.
Nash wasn’t a force in the same way his predecessor was though, and instead used calculated poise to drive the Suns as far as he could into the postseason each year. In 75 playoff games, his numbers did jump to 18.2 points and 9.7 assists as well. It is not sexy, but knocking down 90.7 percent of his free-throws in that time was also hugely important to the team.
At his best Nash was getting to the charity stripe over four times per game, and although that didn’t last for particularly long, you knew you could count on him to tack on some valuable points from the line when it mattered most. Nash became the true successor to Johnson, and took that role very seriously.
He will always be Phoenix’s son (no pun intended…), and when he went over to the Los Angeles Lakers for a minute there at the end, it just didn’t feel right. Despite playing over 408 regular season games across six seasons for the Dallas Mavericks, there’s only one team you think of when you think of Steve Nash. He personifies an entire era of basketball. Not many can say that.