Stephen John Nash, OC, OBC (born February 7, 1974), is a Canadian retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The point guard was an eight-time NBA All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA selection. Twice Nash was named the NBA Most Valuable Player while playing for the Phoenix Suns. He currently serves as the general manager of the Canadian national team and as a player development consultant for the Golden State Warriors.
After a successful high school basketball career in British Columbia, Nash earned a scholarship to Santa Clara University in California. In his four seasons with the Broncos, the team made three NCAA Tournament appearances, and he was twice named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Year. Nash graduated from Santa Clara as the team’s all-time leader in assists and was taken as the 15th pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns. He made minimal impact and was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998. By his third season with the Mavericks, he was voted to his first NBA All-Star Game and had earned his first All-NBA selection. Together with Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley, Nash led the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals the following season. He became a free agent after the 2003–04 season and returned to the Phoenix Suns.
In the 2004–05 season, Nash led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals and was named the league’s MVP. He was named MVP again in the 2005–06 season and was runner-up for a third consecutive MVP to Nowitzki in 2006–07. Named by ESPN in 2006 as the ninth greatest point guard of all time, Nash led the league in assists and free-throw percentage at various points in his career. He is also ranked as one of the top players in NBA league history in three-point shooting, free-throw shooting, total assists, and assists per game.
Nash has been honoured for his contributions to various philanthropic causes. In 2006, he was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He also received the Order of Canada in 2007 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Victoria in 2008.
Nash has been a co-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) since the team entered the league in 2011. In 2012, he was named general manager of the Canadian men’s national basketball team, for whom he played from 1993 to 2003.
After a 19-year NBA career in which he twice won MVP honors, tallied the third-most assists in league history and assured his place in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest point guards ever to play in the NBA, Nash announced his retirement from the NBA on March 21, 2015 in a letter published on The Players’ Tribune website. Before the announcement, the Cleveland Cavaliers had said to Nash’s agent that they were interested in him as a backup for Kyrie Irving if Nash asked for a buyout. Nash refused it, due to both his health concerns and wanting to retire a Laker in gratitude for the opportunity given by the club. Nash was later on persuaded by another former team of his, the Dallas Mavericks, to have one last season with them instead, but he declined due to his health concerns.
On September 25, 2015, it was confirmed that Nash would take on part-time consulting duties for the Golden State Warriors.
Career highlights and awards
2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2005, 2006)
8× NBA All-Star (2002–2003, 2005–2008, 2010, 2012)
3× All-NBA First Team (2005–2007)
2× All-NBA Second Team (2008, 2010)
2× All-NBA Third Team (2002–2003)
2× NBA Skills Challenge champion (2005, 2010)
5× NBA assists leader (2005–2007, 2010–2011)
4× 50–40–90 club (2006, 2008–2010)
J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (2007)
FIBA Americas Championship MVP (2003)
Lou Marsh Trophy (2005)
3× Lionel Conacher Award (2002, 2005–2006)
Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor
2× WCC Player of the Year (1995–1996)
No. 11 retired by Santa Clara
Competitor for Canada FIBA Americas Championship
Silver medal – second place 1999 San Juan National team
Bronze medal – third place 2001 Neuquén National team
Universiade Silver medal – second place 1993 Buffalo National team