NBA star Steve Nash is known for his incredible offensive ability and infallible work ethic on the court. But the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and eight-time NBA All-Star wasn’t always teams’ first pick. He worked his way to where he is today. The current Los Angeles Lakers player made his name while playing for the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns, and continues to play an important role in the league today. Here are ten things you may not have known about basketball legend Steve Nash.
Sources: Life & Style Magazine, JockBio.com, ESPN.Go.com, TheFamousPeople.com, TheCanadianEncyclopedia.ca, FTW.USAToday.com, HuffingtonPost.com, DailyNews.com
As his father was a professional soccer player, Nash’s family traveled all over the world. Steve was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but the family eventually settled down in Canada as his father’s career wound down.
Growing up in British Columbia, Canada, Nash played soccer and ice hockey from a young age, alongside his younger brother, Martin. It wasn’t until he was 12 or 13 that he first began to play basketball. Nash’s parents loved the idea that their boys might follow John, Steve’s father, into soccer, though they did not push them into any specific sport.
In an epic moment of foreshadowing, Nash told his mother that he would play in the NBA and be a star after joining his first organized basketball league in grade eight.
Given Nash’s talent on the soccer pitch and his slight build, many basketball coaches underestimated him from a young age. However, Nash quickly developed a reputation for working harder than anybody else on the court, and his incredible quickness and fearlessness driving to the basket made him an extremely valuable point guard.
While pursuing his dream of playing Division I basketball in the U.S., most of the universities Nash applied to rejected him. Legend has it that he stored all of those letters in a shoe box for motivation, and keeps it to this day.
After seeing Nash play in British Columbia’s AAA championships, Santa Clara University head coach Dick Davey was prepared to offer Nash a full ride to come to California and play for the Broncos. Davey told Nash that he had to work on becoming an all-around player, as he was one of the worst defenders he had ever seen. Nash agreed, and joined the Broncos in the fall of 1992.
In his freshman year, Nash helped Santa Clara to a 9-5 league record and their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 5 years. Though they went in as the number 15 seed, they surprised everyone with a victory over favored Arizona and made it to the second round, before falling to Temple University.
After realizing that he wouldn’t be picked before the second round in the NBA draft, Nash decided to return to Santa Clara for his senior season. He spent the summer working out with the Canadian national team, as well as with NBA All-Stars Jason Kidd and Gary Payton in California.
Nash and his ex-wife, Alejandra Amarilla, married in June 2005 and had twin daughters, Lola and Bella, in October 2004. His son, Matteo Joel, was born several years later, in November 2010, but Nash made a statement on the day of his birth to “Life & Style Magazine” that the moment was “bittersweet” – he revealed that he and Amarilla had been living separately for several months and were in the process of dissolving their marriage.
Source: Life & Style
Nash is known to have a condition called spondylolisthesis, which causes muscle tightness and back pain. Due to this, he lies on his back, rather than sitting on the bench, when not in the game so as to keep his muscles from stiffening too much.