Over the weekend, Steve Nash announced his retirement from the NBA. The two-time MVP and future hall of famer certainly didn’t go out the way he would’ve liked, but his 19-year career has been nothing short of stellar.
“The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much — visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes,” Nash, 41, wrote. “The obsession became my best friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my ass by her.
“And that is what I’m most thankful for in my career. In my entire life, in some ways. Obviously, I value my kids and my family more than the game, but in some ways having this friend — this ever-present pursuit — has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable. I am so thankful. I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons about myself and about life. And of course I still have so much to learn. Another incredible gift.”
Nash, who was selected 15th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 1996 draft, finishes his career as third on the all-time assists list with 10,335, trailing just Jason Kidd and John Stockton.
While his retirement just became official over the weekend, many assumed he was done playing after a list of injuries that prevented him from playing this majority of the 2014-15 season. In fact, Nash would’ve went public with his decision earlier if it weren’t for the Lakers.
”I could have medically retired,” Nash told ESPN.com. “But they asked if I’d consider just being out for the year. … Really it was about giving them an opportunity to move my salary and improve their team. “For them to trade me to improve their team was something I was completely on board with. The organization’s been unbelievable to me. … How Mitch has treated me and the Buss family has been incredible. It was the least I could do.”
The kid from Santa Clara made a name for himself in Dallas alongside Dirk Nowitzki after being traded by the Suns in 1998. However, Nash really reached his pinnacle upon returning to Phoenix in 2004 when he won back-to-back MVP awards, one of only 10 players who can make that claim.
“It will always hurt that Phoenix Suns fans didn’t get the championship they deserved during our run,” Nash also wrote. “Yes, we had some bad luck but I always look back at it and think, I could’ve made one more shot, or not forced a turnover, or made a better pass. But I don’t regret anything. The arena was always sold out and rocking. It was the time of my life. Thanks, Phoenix.”
We’ll miss you Nash. Thanks for all your hard work.