It's not all about hoops for Steve Nash(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
This season Nash is an All-Star for the 8th time in his career, the only representative of the current 13th seed in the West. In an age where most NBA athletes are searching for fame, cash, a title, or all of the above, Nash is a rare example of a grounded man who exemplifies rare qualities or a professional athlete. You could call him the Buddha of the NBA. He has made a home in Arizona. He has found a place to work that makes him happy, with co-workers he enjoys spending time with and a boss he respects.
Isn't that enough for the NBA world to process and conclude what makes the 2-time MVP tick? Is this enough for the local beat writers and national media brokers to think before they start tapping away about how Nash could push their team over the top and into a title contender?
But what of the end goal? This is the era of "Win or Go Home." The era of "Big 3's" and players constructing their own squads with one thought in mind-winning everything. Nash has once again reiterated he doesn't need to win it all. He is a man whose searched his soul and decided what's important in his life. "...Well, it's not the end of the world. No one's sick or dying. It's basketball. We're disappointed in what's happened thus far (in the current season) ... but still ... there's no reason to hang your head and not enjoy your life."
Take that, LeBron.
Trade talk? Mediocre team? Nash still a star
"I will say it's rewarding to be an All-Star at this stage of my career because of all the sacrifices I've made, but it's not more rewarding because of the team situation. If anything, it's less rewarding."
Nash has had an illustrious career full of hours and hours of highlight reel material: clutch buckets, unfathomable assists, improbable team victories, and 2 MVP awards. But the honor and joy of an NBA title has escaped the grasp of this future Hall of Famer, and he doesn't seem to mind. Why? Doesn't the big W mean everything to him? Could anyone still question his competitive desire? "No one wants to win more than he does," said Alvin Gentry. "No one is more competitive than he is. Steve only knows one way to play ... he knows 100 miles per hour. He's not going to pace himself..." And at 38 years old, Nash could be considering winding it down, in fact, he could have taken his 2 MVP's and called it a career. But he hasn't. "He works so hard, He's always doing whatever it takes to be ready for the next game. That might be shooting, running, lifting ... even on days off, he's here ... making sure he's ready," said yet another player who has benefited from Nash's unselfish play, Marcin Gortat.
And that is why Steve Nash will be a Sun for as long as he wants. He is fulfilled. Fulfilled by his off the court pursuits as humanitarian, film maker, and father. Fulfilled by the joy playing a game has given him, the individuals he has played for and with, and most importantly, fulfilled because he knows he gave every ounce of effort he had to give.