Basketball, Hall of Fame, Sports

Does Steve Nash belong in the Basketball Hall of Fame?

Obviously the title of this post is redundant, as they often are when discussing the legacy of star players. Anyway, what do you say about the greatest Canadian basketball player of all time?


  • 18 seasons, 14 quality;
  • 31.3 MPG
  • 17,387 points, 10,335 assists (3rd all-time), 899 steals, 3,642 boards and 102 blocks in 38,069 minutes over 1,217 games played;
  • Per 36 minutes: 16.4P, 9.8A, 0.9S, 3.4R, 0.1B
  • 10th all-time in APG, and 3rd all-time in assist percentage
  • .490 FG%, .428 3P% (9th all-time), .904 FT% (1st all-time)
  • 20 PER, .605 TS% (15th all-time), 129.7 Win Shares (36th), .164 WS/48
  • 10th all-time in Offensive Rating and 16th all-time in offensive win shares
  • Playoffs:
    • 35.7 MPG
    • 2,072P, 1,061A, 66S, 422R, 14B in 4,289 minutes over 120 games
    • Per 36: 17.4P, 8.9A, 0.6S, 3.5R, 0.1B
    • .473 FG%, .406 3P%, .9 FT%
    • 19.8 PER, .583 TS%, 11.9 WS, .133 WS/48
  • Traded once before his prime and once at the end of his career.



  •  MVP (’05, ’06); Top 5 in MVP voting thrice, Top 10 six times;
  • Led league in assists six times, Top 5 nine times, Top 10 eleven times;
  • Led league in APG five times, Top 5 nine times, Top 10 eleven times;
  • Led league in Assist% five times, Top 5 nine times, Top 10 eleven times;
  • Top 5 in 3P% thrice, Top 10 eight times;
  • Led league in FT% twice, Top 5 eleven times, Top 10 twelve times;
  • Top 10 in PER;
  • Led league in TS% twice, Top 5 seven times, Top 10 ten times;
  • Top 5 in Offensive Rating thrice; Top 10 eight times;
  • Top 5 in Offensive Win Shares four times, Top 10 ten times;
  • Top 5 in Win Shares once, Top 10 thrice;
  • Top 5 in WS/48 once, Top 10 four times;
  • 3 1st Team All Stars, 2 2nds, 2 3rds;
  • 8 All Star Games.


Great Teams:

  • Best player on two Final Fours (’06, ’10 Suns), second best player on two Final Fours (’03 Mavericks, ’05 Suns) ;
  • Led his college team to their first NCAA tournament win since 1970;
  • Led the Canadian National Team to its best performance since NBA players participated in the Olympics.



First, let’s get two things out of the way:

  • Nash probably did not deserve his two MVP awards – I’m not going to address that, but there’s a lot of ink on it out there
  • and he was always a brutal defensive player – once described by his college coach as “the worst” he’d ever seen.

But, until Andrew Wiggins or somebody else proves otherwise, he is the best Canadian basketball player ever but he’s also one of the best pure passers ever to play in the NBA, one of the best shooters ever to play in the NBA – and perhaps the best free throw shooter of all time, not that that means anything – and one of the league’s legendary teammates – i.e. people loved to play with him.

I think you can make a strong argument that there have been a number of better point guards:

  • Magic Johnson,
  • Jason Kidd,
  • Chris Paul,
  • Oscar Robertson,
  • Isaiah Thomas,
  • and perhaps some other guys – Payton, Stockton, etc.
  • (and, maybe, when they’re done, some other current players)

And that’s especially true if you factor in both sides of the ball.

But I think the question for posterity is where Nash ranks among the great point guards, not whether or not he was one. He was a great offensive player and he helped revolutionize basketball, though at the time we were unaware that it was being revolutionized.

And, on a personal note, he made me a basketball fan. I mean, March Madness made me a basketball fan but Steve Nash made me an NBA fan. And for that I’m forever grateful. (And, while I’m still a religious Madness watcher – I am watching the Arizona-OSU game as I write this – the version of the NBA that Nash helped create has come to pass and now makes the NBA a far more enjoyable game than the College one, at least from an aesthetic perspective.)

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