NBA / Aug 16, 2010 / 2:30 pm

Steve Nash is this generation’s Larry Bird

photo. Complex Magazine

When the 1992 Dream Team was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last week, Magic Johnson — as the de facto spokesman for the team on stage — saved the coveted “last but not least” status and maybe his most glowing remarks for Larry Bird, his longtime rival.

Watching Bird receive another Hall of Fame honor (he was inducted into the Hall as a player in 1998), I couldn’t help but think that Steve Nash is the Bird of this generation.

My dad always told me that Bird was an awesome player, but prominent players like Dennis Rodman and Isiah Thomas insinuated that Bird was overrated because he was white. They implied that if a Black player was doing the same things Bird was doing, they wouldn’t be considered all that good. In the half-decade since he truly rose to mainstream prominence with the Phoenix Suns, Steve Nash faces those same critics who say his accomplishments are overblown because of his skin color.

I would have to vehemently disagree.

When Nash won back-to-back league MVP awards, there was talk that he won them because voters — many of them White media members — wanted to see this small White dude with whom they could identify glorified for his accomplishments as opposed to him actually deserving the award. My colleague, Austin Burton, even admitted he used to be one of the critics against Nash for that very reason. That argument is absolutely absurd, though, and anyone that watches Nash play would realize that.

Nash is one of the best point guards in NBA history, and he makes his teammates infinitely better. Players like Amar’e Stoudemire, Boris Diaw, Channing Frye, Shawn Marion and Quentin Richardson have been the beneficiaries of Nash’s play over the years, and will be the first to tell you how much he helped their games. The Santa Clara product has an incredible ability to penetrate and get into the lane at will, which opens up the floor for the sharpshooters that surround him.

In addition to his passing ability, Nash is also a great shooter, maybe one of the best pure shooters the game has ever seen. He can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor, and shoots at an incredibly high clip — from the field, beyond the arc, and at the line — for a point guard. To truly see Nash’s impact on a game, all one needs to do is tune into any Phoenix game over the past few seasons, but for those who are stat-centered, Steve’s stats don’t lie either.

In his two MVP seasons Nash put up incredible numbers. The first year he only averaged 15.5 points, but did so on 50.2 percent shooting, which is rare for a guard. He also dished out 11.5 assists per game. While some may argue that those are not MVP stats, if you look closely they are. He gets his points by shooting very efficiently and was the catalyst for the Suns team that led the League in wins. MVP stands for Most Valuable Player, and the year before Nash arrived, the Suns had only won 29 games. They finished his first season with 62 wins, with largely the same team they had the previous season. His value can’t be overstated.

In his second MVP year, Nash actually put up better numbers than the previous year. He scored a career-high 18.8 points per game on 51.2 percent shooting, and 4.2 rebounds (another career high). He also shot 43.9 percent from three and over 92 percent from the foul line, and while his assist average dropped to 10.5, his other stats more than made up for it. Also, while the stats have importance, how Nash makes the Suns go can’t be measured on a stat sheet, but was rightfully recognized by the MVP voters.

While Nash is like Bird in terms of being a White player who some say may be overrated, obviously he doesn’t have the championship pedigree. Bird has three rings. Nash has played the most playoff games of any current NBA player without making the Finals, but is still a great player nonetheless. For all the naysayers who want to bash Nash, just watch Hedo Turkoglu and Hakim Warrick this year and see how much better they are with Nash on their side.

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  • Ian

    nash might be this generations bird not because of the white overrated crap but because hes the best shooter by far in the league like bird was in the 80s.

    isiah and rodman talking bs outta their asses
    so if a black guy avged 26ppg 10rpg 2spg almost a block per game and is the best shooter in the world that is just another black player?? gtfoh he was better than both of them together and that comment was from two players that usually got destroyed by bird.

  • http://www.robharrisdesign.com Rob

    He got 2 MVP’s for doing something John Stockton actually did better for 10 YEARS (’87-’97) and he was never even considered for an MVP.

  • AZ

    I think he gets bashed because he’s never led HIS team to an nba finals..but he gots 2 mvps. Once he does that..the whole White thing will quiet down. But sorry not at all close to bird except for shooting.

  • AZ

    N stockton played D

  • Rafa23

    lol @ Rob
    I was about to write how moronic this whole comment was but just re-read it and u should understand

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    Amar’e Stoudemire, Boris Diaw, Channing Frye, Shawn Marion and Quentin Richardson were all beneficiaries of the system, sure Nash works good in that system, but if your getting up 100+ shots a game as a team, of course someone has to get the assists.

    When the system changed under Terry Porter, Nash wasnt even an all-star, so Nash is good, but his abilities are more magnified by the system he plays in.

  • flavur

    @AZ yeah Stockton was A fuckin thief man didn’t he set an NBA record for averaging the most steals in one season?

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    Steve Nash is a liabilty on defense and is the only MVP (2x) not to make a NBA Finals, theres something wrong with that.

  • Joe’s Momma

    Nash deserved that 1st MVP hands down.

    But he does get some critizism because he is “overrated” because he is white. But he also gets some love because he is white. So it goes both ways.

    No matter what, Nash is a dope ass player no matter what color. I would love to see him get a ring, but it aint gonna be with this PHX team.

    People hated on Amare because he didn’t board, but dude got 10 boards a game and people still complained. Now with Warrick and Frye, you will see how terrible this PHX team will be rebounding, expecially if they start Turk at the 4.

  • AZ

    Stockton kidd payton oscar magic isiah tiny cousy frazier…all better than nash. Nash just a one way player with 2 MVPs…2 MVPs. SMH in disgust

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    @Rob
    Re: Stockton never getting MVP between 87-97

    Look at the MVPs of those years. In chronological order…
    Magic, Jordan, Magic, Magic, Jordan, Jordan, Barkley, Hakeem, Admiral, Jordan, and Malone.

    Two things…
    1) I understand you are trying to prove a point but the guys who won the award over Stockton all had super crazy seasons and they all deserved it.

    2) Malone’s trophy is as much Stockton’s as it was the Mailman’s.

  • Joe’s Momma

    I think the whole, “the system is making Nash look great” is balogna.

    Why are people hating on this guy?

    That is like saying Shaq is not a hall of famer because he couldn’t flourish in an up-tempo style. Players strengths needs to get utilized in order for them to play to their potential.

    What if Chuck Daly told Rodman, “forget rebounding and defense, I need you to shoot threes all day, and grab the boards you can, but focus on shooting”

    I don’t get it, its just people trying to bash Nash?

    The guy is terrific in an up-tempo game. He can get it done in a slow down game.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    @PJ310: “sure Nash works good in that system, but if your getting up 100+ shots a game as a team, of course someone has to get the assists.”

    “of course someone has to get the assists”?!?! Sorry but this statement, to me, implies that any pg could get the same numbers as Nash. Almost saying that he’s a run-of-the-mill passer. Funny the lengths people go to make a point.

  • buffalo balla

    i’ve watched dirk without nash and he’s still pretty good and a closer comparison to bird than nash will ever be…

    and thats comparing white cake with white cake..lol

  • Ian

    jay and joe
    i agree

    of course they are gonna run a system that suits your best player. that is why the suns under porter sucked.

  • Derik

    the only reason that Nash didn’t reach the finals is because of Tim Donaghy, it’s amazing how people forget about this and starts criticize Nash

  • Vinny

    @pj310 I agree completely with both of your post’s!
    @POST 12 AND 13-IT IS ABOUT THE SYSTEM!
    And to marks- there is no comparison between Bird and nash-and to say race didnt play a huge factor in nash winning those mvp’s is just naive!!

  • life

    Nash is like Duke to some of these Dime readers.

  • WinDelRoj

    Rob has a point that John Stockton was better than Nash. BUT no way was he going to win MVPs during his career, too tough to crack the list (shocked MJ didnt get more and Malone stole that MVP somehow). Steve Nash is a 1 way player but he does that 1 way better than most.

  • dee

    You can’t be called this generations Bird without the titles. Period! I’d give it to Dirk way before Nash. Dirk is the best shooter in the game. Nash can make some clutch shots but he’s not the best shooter of this generation.

  • Shakers

    It’s important to note that Isiah backed off on his Bird comments pretty much right away. Also, I saw an interview with Rodman a few years back and he said that his Larry Bird overrated comment is the stupidest thing he’s ever said in an interview. They don’t really believe Bird was overrated.

  • jackass

    @ Jay malone’s trophy wasn’t stockton’s, and not even his’. it belonged to someone who wore #23. and every fool know that.

  • Joe’s Momma

    lol @ jackass

    Did Malone agree to let him keep it at MJ’s house?

    I think MJ let him keep that hardware because he aint got no championships

  • karizmatic

    Nash is a great player but he is overrated. Most people acknowledge that the rules changed in Nash’s favor right when he hit his prime, and there is no way that for two straight years Steve Nash was the best player in the league. I’ll give him that first one, but if we want to be real about it he wasn’t the best player in the league those years.

    But that being said he’s still a great player.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    @ JAY
    I’m not saying Nash isnt good, he was an All-Star before he got to the Suns as a Mav, but so was Stoudemire and Marion. But there is a big difference between an All-Star and MVP.

    Since when does 15 pts and 11 asts get you an MVP, if that’s the case Jason Kidd should have about 5, not to mention he made it to the Finals with less talent around him.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    Also, you have to remember the timing of these MVPs, Remember the NBA had just come off of the “Brawl at the Palace” and was trying to do anything to change the image, insalling a dress code, distancing themselves away from the hip-hop culture.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I know that David Stern loved the fact that Nash was the face of the league at that time, after all let’s not forget who’s buying all those suites and all those sponsorhips for the NBA. So for Nash, a clean-cut white dude, to be the face of the league was a good business move for the league.

  • JH

    I believe there are 2 reason Stockton didn’t ever win the MVP. But Stockton’s #’s are insane.

    1) Jordan & Co.
    2) The PG position is more important now due to rule changes.

  • superfreak

    @PJ310

    You’re quite ignorant when it comes to the MVP award. Its not about how many points and assts someone can put up or how you do in the finals. It’s a regular season award given to the player that is most valuable to his team in the regular season. Of course, having the stats help, but if numbers tell the whole story, then Lebron would of won 4-6 by now. Also, by ur theory, Dirk should of never won his as they got knocked out in the first round.

    The fact of the matter is he turned a 29 win team to 62 in 1 season and lost Amare for the second year and really had no drop off that he deserves those MVPs. I think we can all agree he’s not the best player in the league or there’s a handful of PGs that are better in history, but that’s not what MVPs are about.

    Just sayin’

  • http://www.robharrisdesign.com Rob

    @WinDelRoj

    I watched John his whole career, I knew he would have never gotten an MVP, too many others there to take it. A white point guard get and MVP, never. He was never even in the conversation. This is why I can’t understand Nash’s 2. He had 2 great seasons for him, but by standards of others it was not that special.

    Maybe Stock has some kind of time-share with Malone on the ones he got though…

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    @ Superfreak

    Did Nash turn them into a 62 win team or did their “New” coach with the “New” system that fit those players turn the team around?

    I think it was a combination of both, take Nash away from the system like last year under Porter, no playoffs, take D’Antoni away from the players able to run the system, no playoffs.

    This year Gentry tried his best to copy D’Antoni’s offense and now thats why you see Nash’s re-emergence. And yes I know the MVP isnt about stats alone but you do need stats to be an MVP along with leadership and of course DEFENSE, which Nash is horrible at.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    The bottom line is numbers dont lie, Steve Nash has probably the most unimpressive stats of any MVP ever and he has gotten to the Finals 0 times.

    it’s clear the writers picked Nash with their heart, not based on numbers.

  • K Dizzle

    lol @ PJ310, Vinny and any other dude sayin it’s about the system.
    This past season, 4 years past his last mvp season, Steve Nash put up 16.5 pts,11 as and 3.3 rbs shootin 50.7fg%,43%3fg and 94%ft.
    Guess what? D’Antoni wasn’t the coach. Gentry wasn’t runnin 7 seconds or less yet Steve Nash, at the age of 36, put up the same numbers as his mvp seasons and led the Suns to a top 3 seed in the loaded west in a year nobody expected them to be that good. I love dudes showin much ignorance with the “it’s only cuz of the system” when anyhoops fan with any kind of knowledge knows that Nash been puttin up these numbers with or without Dantoni.

    Haters need to realize something. Steve Nash is still the best point guard in the league and respect needs to be given that Steve Nash IS the system…

  • http://thecensus.wordpress.com n8bombay

    he has no rings (much less any finals appearances)…stop it slime….pistol pete would be a tad bit more accurate

  • Ian

    k dizzle perfect post man these haters are crazy.

    someone mentione jason kidd if someone is overrated thats the man he took the nets to the finals big fuckin deal any 5 dudes from the streets couldda made the finals those years playin in the east. how did kidd do puttin up the same stats in phoenix??? nothing. nash made back to back conference finals losing key players along the way.

    besides nash suns would sweep kidds nets easily.

  • Nyeme

    If Nash deserved 2 MVPs, then Kidd definitely should’ve had one. Steve Nash is this generation’s Terry Porter? Fat Lever? LOL

  • K Dizzle

    “Did Nash turn them into a 62 win team or did their “New” coach with the “New” system that fit those players turn the team around?”
    How’d that “new coach” and “new system” do in New York?
    That 62 win team went 2-5 in the games Nash missed including 4 in a row late in the season, provin they were an average team without him.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    K Dizzle
    Did you read my whole comment because i did say that D’Antoni failed without players good enough to run his offense, but since when does back to back conference finals warrant back to back MVP awards, if that’s the standards Chauncey Billups should have 4, GTFOH!

  • Ian

    people please stop the system crap every team with a superstar has a system that fits that superstar.

  • Conoro

    Nash deserved the Polodoff in 2004/2005, but you simply cannot tell me that a player who dragged a team that had Smush Parker and Kwame Brown as its respective 1 and 5, who scored 81 points, who scored 62 points in three quarters against the NBA Finals runner-up (would have been the champions, but whistles got in the way), and who took said reigning MVP’s team to seven games in that season’s playoffs does not deserve the MVP.

    Also, despite my being a proud Canadian, do not compare a one-time MVP who is not capable of defending with one of the Top Ten greatest players in the history of the sport.

  • JAY

    @PJ310
    “it’s clear the writers picked Nash with their heart, not based on numbers.”
    I agree with half of this statement. i disagree with the first part… the writers didn’t select Nash because of his “heart”. The part I agree with is that he didn’t win based on numbers. You hit the nail on the head with that one… screw the numbers. Nash won because he was the name of the trophy…. “MOST VALUABLE PLAYER”. 29 wins before he re-joined the Suns to 62 wins his first season. It was the first time in a loooong time the NBA actually gave it to the most valuable player to his team.

    This brings up the argument. I’ve always said(I’m sure I’m not the only here) that the league should have an MVP and an MOP – Most Outstanding Player. The former being awarded to the most valuable to his team, and the latter awarded to the most outstanding individual player. It will avoid the confusion as to what the actual award means.

    You guys who think Nash shouldn’t have been an MVP obviously lost track of what the meaning of the MVP award is. Just my opinion

  • JAY

    @PJ310
    You are argument are silly…..

    “but since when does back to back conference finals warrant back to back MVP awards, if that’s the standards Chauncey Billups should have 4, GTFOH!”

    Just an FYI, the MVP is a regular season award. Use that acronym on yourself bro.

  • JAY

    *Your

  • sh!tfaced

    Ugh… How come almost every great white player gets the obligatory Larry Bird comparison…? SMH

  • George W Kush Sr

    Didn’t D’Antoni and Nash go to Phoenix at the same time? How many losses once D’Antoni left? Once coach D left so did the “amazing things” Nash did for his team.

    Nash is a good player, but he’s nowhere close to being the Bird of this generation or even being the best PG when HE WON HIS MVPs. Kobe and Shaq had monster years those two seasons and were deserving of MVPs. BDiddy regularly killed Nash as did Sam I Am Cassel, Billups, Parker, Kidd, Iverson, etc etc.

    Stockton’s career numbers are better than Nash’s first MVP season numbers.

    My grand mother could probably drop 20ppg if Nash was guarding her.

    I mean, damn, he’s a great player n all but this is all BULLSHIT. Stop calling him the Bird of this generation, he’s not, he’s just a GREAT ball player, what’s wrong with that? Why do you guys have to make him more than what he truly is? Then you complain that obvious facts like not being able to guard a golf cart are unfounded, smh

    I mean, Nash isn’t even the best PG of the last decade, Billups took his team to 7 Conference Finals, SEVEN. He’s got a Finals MVP and that almighty ring.

    Toe to toe I take Billups over Nash any day and I actually want one of you Nash nut-huggers to prove to me how in the hell Nash is better than Billups. Do it.

  • K Dizzle

    “but since when does back to back conference finals warrant back to back MVP awards, if that’s the standards Chauncey Billups should have 4″

    I don’t even know what that means since superfreak has already informed you that it’s a regular season award so playoffs have no bearing on it, but like Ian’s tryin to tell you, it helps justify when the mvp actually does something in the postseason. This is why Dirk’s mvp and subsequent loss to the Warriors takes some shine off his mvp award, but nobody will argue that he didn’t deserve it.
    Here’s the problem with the argument aginst Steve Nash’s mvps. Haters say Jason Kidd shoulda got one, but he was playing in such a weak conference that, in 04-05, he couldn’t top the 29 win increase in the West on a team that basically swapped Marbury for Nash and became the best team in the league. Then there’s the “numbers” scam with haters acting like 15 & 11 while shootin 50-40-90 is some shit everybody could do.
    So then it goes onto the next mvp, where for some reason, dudes forget that Amare missed the whole season and Nash’s numbers improved. You heard anything of Diaw and Marion since they left Phoenix?
    Truth be told, Nash’s best season was the year he didn’t win the mvp in ’06, but imagine the uproar if the man had won 3 straight. Haters need to stop actin like the Suns haven’t got to the Finals cuz they were healthy every year and were losin to scrub squads. No other player in the league had to deal with:
    Year 1 – Joe Johnson
    Year 2 – Amare
    Year 3 – Robert Horry

    but I gotta agree with Conoro that Nash can’t really be put into the same breath as LB…

  • JAY

    Well said, K-Dizzle.
    For real, Nash does some things on the regular that have people scratching their heads. He passes behind his back with his left hand just as well as he can with his right hand.

    Hopefully you guys remember even Big Ben was getting some MVP attention and he can barely hit a layup. But what he meant to that Pistons team, you can’t really say that he wasn’t valuable.

    Some dudes just like to stir the pot.
    Speakin’ of pot… time to get my “Haslem” on.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    You guys are dumb as f*ck, i could sum this up in one question,

    If Steve Nash is so Great how come he has never sniffed a ring with 2 All-stars around him and tons of good role-players?

    The only way he could ever win a ring is to be a secondary player (Pau Gasol, Scottie Pippen), so if that’s great then maybe we need to start handing out trophys for 60-win seasons and division winners.

  • Roman

    I know there’s not much to write about these days, but damn are you just gonna make ish up. Steve Nash couldn’t carry Larry’s jock strap.

  • Kyle

    Stockton wasn’t a better shooter than Nash, but obviously, he was a better pure point guard. It could be argued that Stockton is the best point guard ever, because he didn’t have the talent surrounding him like Magic did. Nash deserved both MVPs, and haters are just mad cause they’re in love with Kobe.

    There was no way Stockton could have gotten an MVP with Bird, Magic, Jordan, Malone(whose career was built on Stockton’s passing, mastery of setting screens, and willingness to keep Malone happy.)

    Iverson won an MVP(as a point guard)while shooting 42 percent, averaging 4.8 assists while turning the ball over 3.3 times.) He was also taking 26 shots a game, and getting 10 freethrows a night. The haters must not know basketball. Also Bill Walton and Wes Unseld has seasons that don’t have Jordan or Bird like numbers where they won MVPs.

  • superfreak

    @PJ310

    You still don’t get it, no one is trying to say how Nash is “greater” than any other players in the league. We’re just justifying why he won the MVP those 2 years… and for the last time, the number of rings he wins or don’t win has nothing to do with why he won MVP awards those 2 years…

    i’m surprised at the amount of people that don’t understand what the MVP award is about. Just because you get killed one on one doesn’t mean you can’t win a MVP, its a team game and MVPs are gauged by the success to one’s team.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    @ superfreak

    “i’m surprised at the amount of people that don’t understand what the MVP award is about”

    No one understands what the MVP is about thats why the standards change from year to year, thats the problem with the award in the first place, with that being said, Nash is the only player in NBA history to have never been to the Finals, and I know the award is based on the regular season, but if that stat doesnt tell you something then your blinded by love for Nash.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    @ superfreak

    “MVPs are gauged by the success to one’s team.”

    If that’s the case, again Chauncey should have the 04-05 MVP because his team had the best record that year and he was the leader of that team.

  • silky

    the years, nash won mvp, you gotta look at who did what on the other teams in the league. mvp’s go to the best players on the winningest teams in the league. those two years nash was the guy. he got those at the time when the league was evolving into a higher-scoring, entertaining game. he was the catalyst of the first team to do it and win . a breathe of fresh air. i’m surprised he didnt win 3 mvps in a row. if you look at his numbers that third year, they were almost the same, if not better in some cases.

    you why nash never made a finals or won a ring, his peak was within a conference that had duncan and shaq. two guys that their roster had no answers for

  • jerkishbehavior.com

    Steve Nash deserved the 1st mvp becuase he was the best player on the team with the best record but theres no way he shouldve won 2 years in a row. The 2nd yr that trophy belong to Kobe Bryant who outright nasty while leading a roster full of bums to the playoffs.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    @silky

    “you why nash never made a finals or won a ring, his peak was within a conference that had duncan and shaq. two guys that their roster had no answers for”

    Actually Shaq was on the Heat when Nash got to Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas and Phoenix were the best teams in the West at the time

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    @ jerkishbehavior.com

    The Pistons had the best record in 04-05 and Chauncey was the leader of that team

  • common sense

    Truth be told, Amare might be an all-star but his game is wack. He might be stellar on offense but that is because he doesn’t play any D and risk getting in foul trouble. For someone with his athletic ability he should be grabbing more boards than David Lee especially in such an up tempo system. He should also be blocking more shots. Amare is a perfect example of a mirage. I personally think the Suns were destined never to win a chip because the two best players on their team are also the two worst defenders, and some of the worst defensive starters at their position in the league.

    To win a chip you need stops but Nash and Amare are liabilities. The difference being that Nash had physical liabilities, being white, no offense there is no way he can check athletic freaks like D.Rose or Westbrook, but at least he tries and is a wonderful team defender with his positional awareness. Amare, on the other hand just didn’t care much for defense and truthfully he had the worse coach in D.Antoni who did not emphasize the art. This team could not win a chip because of this, they might have won with Amare post surgery because his skills were enough to offset any defensive liabilities but Amare post surgery, although still amazingly athletic, could never regain the form that saw him eviscerate Timmy D in the conference finals, at least on O. Plus is the Suns just paid Johnson, who has subsequently shown his avarice ways by re-uping with the Hawks for enough to cripple for years.

    Nash not winning a chip will a sad tale in NBA history, out of all the superstars mentioned I feel he deserves it the most and has been shortchanged mostly by the defenseless Amare and the inept D.Antoni.

    P.S. By the way, Nash doesn’t fit the ‘system’, Nash is the ‘SYSTEM’.

  • Daniel Marks

    By comparing Nash to Bird I wasn’t comparing their games or pedigrees but merely the fact that they are both great players who some say have been overrated because of their skin tone.

    Also, in Dallas Nash wasn’t running D’Antoni’s system and was an all star. The year he got to Phoenix D’Antoni, Stoudemire, Marion, etc had already been there and won only 29 games. He helps turn guys that had been busts (Diaw and Frye) to solid role players when they were mediocre elsewhere

  • H-Man

    @ 26 — Nash is a “clean cut white dude” ??? Really? How ’bout that hair?

  • Peter

    Highly reassuring to read the 59 previous comments and see that Dime readers, we who are serious hoops addicts, have largely moved into the 21st century and couldn’t care less about skin color. Re: the key basketball points in this thread here are my $0.02:
    - Nash was NOT the system, he was targetted by coaches and GMs whose system he fit incredibly well. Note also that he got minimal burn while KJ held point in Phoenix.
    - Larry was the system, the team, from Day-1 in Boston. What was the system? It was whatever Larry told everyone to do, because when they did it they won rings.
    - The ultimate scorecard is rings: Larry 3, Nash 0.

  • EN FUEGO

    Is this why Amare is trying real hard to be Jewish?

  • LukeCage22

    Steve Nash deserved the MVPs he got based on the impact he had on his teams and their regular season success. Kobe did have a monster year in Nash’s 2nd MVP season, and the argument could be made for him winning it but it should not take away what Steve Nash did without Amare there. That is why everyone took notice, and why he was getting consideration for a 2nd MVP. He took a team that lost about 25points and 9 rebounds and lead them to virtually the same record in a tough Western Conference. Sure Nash hasnt been to the finals or won a ring, but that shouldnt have any bearing on whether he is capable of putting together an MVP calibre season. The year after his second MVP, he could have won it again too. Who cares about his lack of D (for the record, Nash does take a shitload of charges which are just as much of a turnover as a block or a steal), he controls the flow and tempo of the game and plays winning basketball, system or no system. Anyone who fails to see, or appreciate that is really not a real fan of the game.

  • Geoff

    Nash has been great at Phoenix, but that is a 6 year run. If he gets all-time status for that, then Lebron should get the same for his 7 years. They both have 2 MVPs and 0 Championships. Was Nash in 2004-06 better than Kidd form 2001-03? Also Rodman and Thomas won 2 rings at Detroit so Bird did NOT destroy them

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    @PJ310 #51: “Nash is the only player in NBA history to have never been to the Finals.”

    Really?? I didn’t know that stat. Then if Nash is the only player in NBA history never to make a final, I must agree with you. Nash is wack. Somehow though, that statement seems false.

    I think it’s hilarious you call Dizzle and I “dumb as fuck” in post #47 then write some stupid-ass shit like that. I could name 1000 NBA players who haven’t been to the Finals. As I said in #13, it’s funny the lengths people go to make a point.

    BTW, since you bring up NBA history, he was also the first non-American born player to win the award. The first point guard since Magic to be an MVP. Not bad at all.

    Just to re-iterate, because i think you’re losing grasp of the argument, my point is he deserved the 2 MVPs. Carry on, smart guy.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    @Geoff: “Was Nash in 2004-06 better than Kidd form
    2001-03?”
    You can’t compare 2 different seasons to prove Nash didn’t deserve the award. I could look at all the runner-ups in history and make the same point but MVP is award to the most valuable FOR THAT SEASON.
    Look at how silly this argument is…. “from 66-68 Bill Russell didn’t win the award, but he averaged 13pts, 22rebs and 5 assists. Russell had better stats AND he won rings so if Nash won the back-to-back then Russell should have won at least 1 more MVP between ’66-’68.
    Completely off-base argument.

  • Farris

    As a long time LAKERS fan please do not disrepect Larry Bird by comparing him to Steve Nash.Enough said……

  • http://www.hbo.com/the-wire/index.html jasondolemite

    @ common sense : “The difference being that Nash had physical liabilities, being white, no offense there is no way he can check athletic freaks like D.Rose or Westbrook, but at least he tries and is a wonderful team defender with his positional awareness.”

    dumb statement. perfect example – kirk hinrich is a great defender.

  • Dan

    August 17th, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Geoff says: “Also Rodman and Thomas won 2 rings at Detroit so Bird did NOT destroy them”

    They won them in 1989 and 1990. In 1989 Bird was injured, and in 1990, while he still made ALL-NBA second team, he was nearing the end of his career.

  • Jake

    Didn’t the suns loose Joe Johnson that second year too? So no amare and no JJ and they still led the west putting up 54 wins? Nash had 18.8/10.5/4.2 shooting 50/40/90, MVP.

  • sh!tfaced

    white boy Steve Blake knows how to play D as well…

  • Geoff

    Jay, my point was that Steve Nash is classed as an amazing PG based on those 2 seasons. Kidd had an amazing 2 seasons as well, so they should be on the same level. If you look at his WHOLE career he is perhaps a top 10 PG

    1. Johnson
    2. Robertson
    3. Thomas
    4. Stockton
    5. Frazier
    6. Payton
    7. Cousy
    8. Kidd
    9. Cheeks
    10. Johnson (KJ)or Nash

    An MVP is a subjective award e.g. Malone ’97, but comparisons are what this article are about. We can take Chris Paul from 2007-2009 and say he is an all-time great!?

  • Ric Hardwood

    I’m a Steve Nash fan and I agree with most commenters that the Larry Bird comparison is not accurate… Bird is on another level… but there is no one in the league that can make his teammates look as good as Nash could… Stoudemire looked like a Beast with Nash… this season, watch his numbers drop… especially his FG%… those MVP’s were earned.

  • http://thesphericalstudies.blogspot.com/2010/07/lebron-james-is-not-jesus.html#more haslem

    agreed. Nash’s scoring ability, ability in the clutch are overlooked. If he takes a shot at the end of a close game be it a layup or a deep 3 is there any doubt in your mind it’s money? not in mine and I’m usually right.

    Another trait is that he can score but WANTS to pass and run the game. I can say at other levels of basketball that’s a hard trait to find. You meet guys with sick handles and passing ability but those guys that live to pass you the rock and control the game over scoring are true gems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Ruffin/517691327 David Ruffin

    I love Steve Nash’s overall game and specific skill set. However, I am still can not fathom how this guy was awarded BACK to BACK mvp thophies. One? MAYBE. After he proved that he couldn’t lead the Suns past the Spurs in the Western Confernce Finals. The mpv Steve Nash’s team lost the series 1-4.
    So for Nash to even be considered for the MVP trophy the following year with only slightly improved stats is absolutly distubing considering his stat line is relatively average when compared to other MVP winners.
    Sure Nash can pass. Yes; he can shoot. Yes he can run an exciting offense. He is also the ONLY mvp winner to be widely accepted as a complete defensive liability. The opposing point guard will have their way with him. See Tony Parker. No other MVP winner can be negated like that. Check the list.
    The NBA should have created an award specifically for Nash if the really needed to market him in such fashion. That award should have been OFFENSIVE PLAYER of the YEAR. But a MVP he never was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Ruffin/517691327 David Ruffin

    Futhermore, the notion that Steve Nash made Amare a beast is an overstatement. Genetics had more to do with Amare being a beast than playing along side Nash.
    Sure playing with a PG that can pass and shoot as well as Nash pays great dividends. It makes your job easier not neccessarily a better player. You still must catch the ball and make the basket for Nash’s pass can be transformed into an assist. So Amare & company are just as much responsible for Nash’s assist as Nash is responsible for their points. By that reasoning; if Nash makes his teammates better; his team does the same for him.

  • JAKE

    all of these complaints are still about performance in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter what the team does in the playoffs, its a regular season award and in 2004/2005 he turned a 29win team into a 62win one and in 2005/2006 he lost Jo Johnson and Amare, outputted 18.8/10.5/4.2 shooting 50/40/90, and still won the pacific. Regular season.

  • JAKE

    all of these complaints are still about performance in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter what the team does in the playoffs, its a regular season award and in 2004/2005 he turned a 29win team into a 62win one and in 2005/2006 he lost Jo Johnson and Amare, outputted 18.8/10.5/4.2 shooting 50/40/90, and still won the pacific. Regular season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Ruffin/517691327 David Ruffin

    JAKE, you are cherry picking if you are using my comments to retort and form your comment.
    While, Steve Nash is an exceptional player, my argument is he is has not had an MVP season in comparison to anybody who has ever won the award.
    Steve Nash, during his MVP years, posted a stat line that is purely about offense. EVERY other person who has EVER won the MPV award is noted for their defense.

    Also to be noted is, during Steve Nash’s mvp years Alllen Iverson’s stat line was roughly 30pts 7.8 assist, 3.5 rb, 2.5 steals, 43% fg, 31% 3fg while playing 42 minutes per game. Steve Nash’s stat line during those same MVP years was 16pt, 11 assist, 3.3 rb, .75 steals, 50%fg, 43%3pt while playing 33 minutes.
    I’m not suggetioning that Allen Iverson should have won the MPV award during those years. I am merely putting in perspective the fact that Steve Nash’s numbers aren’t as great as sportscenter highlights would have one think.

    How could ANY player who dominated the ball as much as Steve Nash; while running a 7 second or less offense that included Amare, Marion, Joe Johnson ( in their peak prime years) not average 11 assist a game?? Keep in mind Steve Nash is a pass first point guard. Whoever, however, whenever he passes the ball in the flow of that particular offense will lead to an assist IF the receiving player CATCHES the ball and MAKES the feild goal.
    Im not saying Nash isnt a great baller. My point is his stat line is offense ONLY while not being all that great. His play is brilliant and exciting but the sum of it all is considerably less than ANY body who has ever won the award; especially when you consider the talent he was playing with. It’s not like he average 20 pts and 20 assist; which is not a crazy thought considering OFFENSE is the only thing Nash is known for. Nash is a GREAT shooter (fg, 3pt, ft). He was running with GREAT scorers and finishers. So a 20pt/20 assist season from Nash is conceivable. Then maybe I would over look the fact that he cant play defense. I could see how the NBA could justify him winning back to back MVP’s.
    15pts, 11 assist is NOT an MPV year; unless of course you’re Steve Nash and the NBA need a new great white hope to market for its sponsers.
    Which is what this whole article is about. It’s not saying Nash is anywhere near the player Bird was. It’s suggesting or posing the question of rather or not the NBA marketed Nash as the great white hope by heiring him back to back MVP trophies….(forgive the typos. I have to pee I dont have time to proof read)

  • dagwaller

    @ David Ruffin – nah brother, you’re talkin out of your ass, probably a Kings fan or something.

    Think of it this way. If you think his stats are bogus, think of all the other guys that put up similar stats (laugh) that don’t get 60 wins a year.

    Nash is actually the Garnett of his position. A phenomenal talent that, once surrounded with the appropriate players, can and will win championships. Put guys like Amar’e, Joe Johnson, and other pretend superstars with him, and he can’t compete – see Michael pre-Pippen, Robinson pre-Duncan, Kobe pre-Gasol, Pierce pre-Big 3, LeBron pre-oh wait…

    Yea, Nash didn’t lead HIS team to a chip, but how many PGs have done so in the last 30 years? Magic? With Kareem, Michael Cooper, etc.? Exactly.

  • David Ruffin

    @ dagwaller – First of all, there is no reason to be presumptious. However, since, you brought the KINGS up I’ll bite. BUT FIRST….

    You are being absolutely ludicrious to say, “NASH is actually the Garnett of his position…” If I am talking out of my ass you must be talking without the beniefit of a brain or at least knowledge of FACTS. NASH can never be anything comparable to Garnett because Nash doesnt play DEFENSE.

    You claim Amare, Marion and Joe Johnson are pretend superstars; when in fact, they are a supporting cast of PERINEAL ALL STARS. You can suggest that they are all stars because of Nash. But that would be only an opinion.. THE FACT is Johnson’s career continued to blossom and he is still perineal all star DESPITE not playing with Nash.
    Marion’s numbers were the same IF NOT better before Nash arrived in PHX. In fact Marion’s overall numbers begain to decline once Nash came to PHX.
    These claims are supported by their stat lines. I am NOT talking out of my ass. Do your research. These are facts not arguments.
    Isiah Thomas is a POINT GUARD who led his team to back to back titles; with less raw talent than Nash was surrounded by.
    BUT the fact that Nash didnt win a championship is not the conversation that I am trying have.
    All Im saying is Steve Nash’s stat line doesn’t warrant back to back MVP trophies.
    Im not saying his stats are bogus as you suggested.

    But to say that Steve Nash who average 16pt 11 assist 3RB 1 steal, is solely responsible for a 60 win season is unresonable when:
    Amare 26pt, 9 rb, 1 steal, 1.6 blks.
    Shawn Marion 19pt, 11rb, 2st, 1.6blk,2.7 assist
    Joe Johnson 16.7pts, 5rb,3.5 assist, 1 steal
    Boris Diaw 16 pts, 7 rb, 6 assist, 1 blk

    I think this suggests this PHX team won 60 games by commitee and not because Steve Nash willed this team to 60 wins.
    to be continued

  • David Ruffin

    And since we’re throwing 60 wins out there like it’s 72 wins; I must add during the 2004-5, Nash’s 1st MVP year

    Dallas won 58 games( the team Nash played for just the year before.)
    Spurs won 59 games (and the championship. Tim was the Real mvp that season, duh)
    Heat won 59 ( Wade 24pt, 6rb 7as, 1.6 steal 1blk..One might argue that stat line is more valuable than Nash’s 16pt 11assist no matter how well Nash shoots.

  • David Ruffin

    In closing, when people such as myself question the legitimacy of Nash’s MVP awards certain people get defensive as if their own manhood was challenged.

    It’s cool to stick up for the “defenseless” just not when its pertaining to basketball. 16pt, 11 assist but NO defense is no MVP; of course this is relative to PREVIOUS MVP winners.
    Jason Kidd has average AT LEAST 16pt, 9 assist, 7RB, 2steals MORE than 5 times; while leading his team to 50+ wins!!!!!! Kidd has NO MVP’s……..
    Im not sorry, that I am not sorry for the fact I have trouble seeing the validity in Nash’s 16 pt, 11 assist and virtually nothing else; being MVP caliber numbers.

  • David Ruffin

    ps.
    I dont know if you guys noticed this but Nash is the only player who routinely gets credit for another player’s assist. The scenerio will go something like this:

    Nash will have the ball; make a pass; the player who catches the ball will throw an alley hoop thus talling up an assist…and then the play by play announcer will say something like, ” Future hall of famer Steve Nash has exceptional court vision to make the pass that led to his teamate’s assist. Excellent basketball I.Q………”

    The media bromance with Steve Nash is outrageous.

    Ok Im done

  • Geoff

    Dan, in 1988 when Detroit made the Finals, they beat the Celtics 4-2. Bird was in GREAT condition that year so no excuses. Pistons would have won if Thomas didn’t sprain his ankle in Game 6 of the Finals.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ David Ruffin – first of all, apologies for the tone of my first comment, out of line.

    Second of all…no. Just…no. I wasn’t implying that Nash was the Garnett of this generation because of his particular skills. I was saying that in SPITE of all of Garnett’s skill, he never won a chip because his supporting cast wasn’t any good. Oh, he had Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell? Just like Nash had Marion and Amar’e? Exactly. That supporting cast was JUST good enough to make them contenders, but never good enough to win.

    Joe Johnson and Shawn Marion are NOT “perineal” (perennial?) All Stars. Johnson was an injury replacement one year and a reserve three more times. In 9 years. Hardly a perennial All Star. Furthermore, he simply wasn’t as good with Phoenix as he is with the Hawks. Marion has played 13 seasons, and has only made the All-Star team 4 times. Guess when he made it? No, it wasn’t with the Heat. It wasn’t with the Mavericks. It was when he was playing with the Suns.

    To further my earlier point, I will remind you that while Nash’s, Johnson’s, and Marion’s stats either improved or declined over the years, the WINS are what came with Nash. Do you want to show me the stats for Shareef Abdur-Rahim and tell me that he deserved the award more than Nash, because he had more rebounds? Hm.

    Isiah had less talent than Nash?! Bahahahaha! So you’d take Marion over Dennis Rodman? Jason Richardson over Joe Dumars? Don’t know about that one, dude. If the answers to those questions were “yes” for you, I don’t think we should have this conversation anymore.

    Again, when you bring up the stats of those players, you’re forgetting that the WIN column is the important factor. Let’s see the three seasons before Nash got there. Amar’e and Marion’s BEAST stats that you’re citing got them 36 44 and 29 wins, along with a first round playoff loss (2 wins). Nash’s first three seasons? 62, 54, and 61 wins, along with 25 posteason wins. PS on that, Amar’e didn’t even play one of those seasons.

    D Wade as MVP during Nash’s first award winning season? Laugh laugh. I guess you forgot that people were saying that SHAQ should’ve been the MVP that year. Let’s see, put D Wade and a beast Shaq on the same team…I don’t see how either one could be MVP. Tim Duncan had Manu, TP…and still had FEWER WINS than Nash did. I guess it’s ok to have fewer wins and still be MVP, but still. The Suns literally had THE BEST RECORD IN BASKETBALL that year. Duh.

    I can’t speak to your accusation of a media “bromance” with Nash, but it seems fairly obvious to me why Nash is a 2 time MVP.

  • Geoff

    It is funny, but from a purely statistical standpoint, Nash probably deserved MVP for 2006/07 more than other years. 2004/05 was tight between Nash and Shaq, 2005/06 maybe could have gone to Kobe, but at the end of the day MVP is a very subjective award. The last time I can remember clear cut MVPs was 1999/00 (Shaq) and 2000/01 (AI). All the others have slight question marks.