The Dallas Mavericks traded for Steve Nash on draft night 1998. They acquired the Suns' backup point guard on the same franchise-altering evening that they traded for a teenage German. Dirk Nowitzki and Nash would join Michael Finley to give the Mavs a formidable trio as they looked to snap a decade-long playoff drought.
Nash went from playing 20 minutes a night to a two-time All-Star during his six seasons in Dallas. The 6’3 point guard blossomed into one of the league’s best point guards as the Mavericks reached Conference Finals in 2003 and made four straight playoff appearances. Nash would leave in free agency in 2004 after Mark Cuban failed to offer him a competitive deal, and his career would reach new heights in Phoenix, including winning two MVP awards.
The Hall of Famer was a six-time All-Star for the Suns as he became an all-time great in Phoenix. The Athletic is ranking the top 75 players in history to celebrate the NBA’s 75th anniversary, and Nash landed 38th on their list, but should he be higher?
Steve Nash lands 38th on The Athletic’s top 75 NBA players of all-time
The NBA released their top 75 earlier this year without ranking the talent. The Athletic took the league’s 75th-anniversary celebration further by ranking the top players one to 75. Nash was selected 38th ahead of fellow point guards Damian Lillard, Gary Payton, and Walt Frazier.
The current Nets coach is one of only 14 players in NBA history to win multiple MVP awards, and he was the catalyst for the Seven Seconds or Less Suns that revolutionized the league. Nash deserved to be in the top 30, despite never winning a championship.
Steve Nash will always be the one that got away for Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks. He became a free agent in the summer of 2004, and the Mavs had already been to the Western Conference Finals. Nash wanted to stay in Dallas to play with Dirk, but Cuban did not want to offer six years and $65 million. The Suns did, and Nash went on to win two MVP awards in Phoenix.
Steve Nash was taken 15th overall in the 1996 draft and spent his first two NBA seasons as a backup point guard. When the Dallas Mavericks acquired him in 1998, nobody expected him to go down as an all-time great, but that is just what he did. Congratulations to Nash on being named the 38th best player of all time, but it should be even higher.