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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at 1:41 pm  |  21 responses

Steve Nash’s 38 Best Assists

On his 38th birthday, we celebrate the Suns point guard with a gallery of highlights.

by Eldon Khorshidi / @eldonadam

Now in his 16th NBA season, Steve Nash is still one of the best point guards in the game. Despite being one of the smallest and least athletic guys in the League, the two-time MVP and seven-time All-Star is the creme de la creme of his position and an indispensable part of the Phoenix Suns. His incredible playmaking, ball handling and shooting ability have made Nash one of the best point men in the history of our game, in part because he excels at the crux of what a point guard is supposed to do: optimizing the talent around him. In other words, he makes his teammates better. A lot better.

Consider this: In the ’04-05 campaign—Nash’s first season back with the Suns—he catalyzed a remarkable turnaround, transporting Phoenix, who had finished 29-53 the previous year, from the dungeon of the Western Conference to an NBA best 62-20 record. Sure, there was an abundance of raw talent on that team: Matrix, STAT, Joe Johnson, etc. But no such thing would’ve occurred if Nash wasn’t there.

When contemplating how to celebrate Nash’s birthday (by “celebrate” I mean deciding what kind of video gallery to construct), the process was short and simple. He has two MVPs for a lot of reasons, none of which include his 26-inch vertical (That’s a random guess. I could easily be wrong.), or exceptional lateral quickness. Instead, we’re going to celebrate what Nash does best, and quite frankly, better than anyone else. Which is distribute the rock. On point. On time. Through windows that don’t exist to me and you.

Nash has unequivocally rewritten the art of getting teammates open, timing the pass and threading the needle. A five-time assist champion, Hair Canada has been doing this for what seems like forever. So in honor of his 38th birthday, we’ve fittingly compiled his 38 best assists throughout his career. The gallery commences with Nash displaying some soccer skills, then the first acutal assist is an outlet pass to Josh Childress which made Nash the Suns all-time assist leader. There’s some alley-oops, transition passes, pick-n-rolls and some plays that never should’ve happened, but did because Steve Nash is, well, Steve Nash. There’s also some vintage tape of Nash and Dirk and a dope montage of his career-high 48 point scoring performance.

Before I end, let me just make one disclaimer: It was really hard to “rank” these passes. Aside from the wow plays, a lot of these could’ve been rearranged in numerous ways. I tried my best, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a hint of arbitrary ranking in the top-10, only because a) all these passes are damn good and b) judging a highlight intrinsically carries some sort of bias. Case in point: you might disagree with the order. Which I encourage. So roll through the gallery above and voice any agreements, disagreements or thoughts down below. Regardless, do so while paying homage to one of the greats. Happy born day, Steve!

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  • kh

    why is everything in #23 backwards?

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/310203019/miami-heat-vs-orlando-magic Jukai

    Title should be “38 best assists we could find”

  • Raff_McCafferty

    I refuse to accept that any of Steve Nash’s top 38 assists were to Robin Lopez.

  • dahive

    wow, those playoff series vs la and sa…good times

  • Jerome

    The fact that RLopez scores is due to the wizardry of S.Nash.

  • D12FSU

    you’re going to start off an assist countdown with a after the whistle soccer exhibition? cmon slam

  • mtobi

    Come on, only one feed to Gortat ? I’m sure I could’ve picked at least five of the same quality as some of the Stat pick&roll’s or the Lopez feeds.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    He really is the Benjamin Button of basketball. Good stuff.

  • riggs

    one of my favorite players and people in the NBA.

  • ai come back

    the 1 assist wasnt that great wheres the one where he gets it through like 4 guys

  • permaculture james

    he’s got pretty game – yum.

  • Mogdog

    video 33: 3 second violation on Amare? :)

  • https://plus.google.com/photos/106403650426394352312/albums/posts davidR

    man, if the suns kept amare, and still got gortat, they could’ve done some damage in the west

  • Addam

    Nash could have been a professional athlete in at least 3 other sports. He is the very definition of athletic. Being 6’6” and having a good vertical doesn’t make an athlete.

  • hulahula

    steve nash always good with pf,dirk nowitzki then amare and now….:(

  • add

    the epitimy of a true pg, nash’s passes are works of art

  • Kyle

    It’s amazing that Nash is leading the league in assists while playing for a Suns team with less talent than any of the other elite point guards. Nash plays 31 mpg while only Andre Miller with 6.8 apg plays less minutes among the top 20 in the league for assists. Nash not only leads the league in assists, but leads his team is ppg.

    Most elite point guards have at least two scoring options but Nash is playing in the Western Conference with 1 legitimate starter. The Suns have two guys who average double digit scoring aside from Nash. Rondo, Rubio, Paul and Rose all have four teammates in double figures.

    Nash – averages 15.1 ppg, 10 apg, shoots 56 % with Gortat averaging 15.1 ppg as his best go-to guy. Dudley is their third best scorer at 11 ppg.

  • Justin G.

    I wonder what the writer’s definition of athletic is? He was considered a just as good, if not better, soccer player in high school as he was basketball player and I believe had some offers to play pro soccer. How is he not athletic?

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    No way these are the 38 best assists by Nash. Sorry but.. it’s not a good compilation. You can find better mixes on youtube.

  • Jonny

    KH, some people posts vids backward to get by automated programs that people like the NBA may use to track unauthorized posting of their content.

  • Jo

    Not sure these are the best, but it’s hard to argue that they’re not incredible. I love Nash, and I think he’s definitely among the top NBA players of all time: http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-top-nba-players-of-all-time

    ^^ Based on that, however, not everyone else agrees. NO WAY he should be that low on that particular list, IMO.

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