Steve Nash became just the fifth player to record 10,000 assists last night, even as his disappointing Lakers team got manhandled by Houston’s backcourt of James Harden and Jeremy Lin. But Nash has always been all about the team and making other guys better, and that’s at the heart of dishing a dime. So, we decided to keep in the vein of helping teammates by coming up with five guys he made better throughout his illustrious career with first Phoenix, then Dallas, then back to Phoenix (we’ll bet Cuban regrets not re-signing him, even if he won a title in 2011), and now the Hollywood Lakers.
Regardless of the loss last night to the Rockets, it’s impressive what Nash has been able to do, especially when you consider he didn’t reach his first 1,000 assists until his fifth year in the league at the ripe age of 27. Nash might have been a late bloomer, but once he made the jump, there was no looking back, and two MVPs and 10,000 assists later, he’s still a passing wizard, getting teammates involved and doing whatever he can to help his team win.
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5. DIRK NOWITZKI
Possibly the greatest foreign born player in the history of the game, Dirk got his start alongside Nash in Dallas. Together with Mark Cuban’s gameplan geared towards outscoring everyone (and playing very little defense in the process), they pulled the Dallas Mavericks out of the permanent basement they’d been stuck in since Mark Aguirre and Derek Harper were cheered on by the Reunion Rowdies. Besides sporting similar bleached blonde tips when Dallas traded for Nash and drafted Nowitzki in 1998, both learned together, practiced together, and improved together. They became BFFs pretty quickly, and when Cuban decided to let a 30-year-old Nash walk after the 2004 Playoffs concluded, they probably wept together. But then Nash signed with the Suns, and new head coach Mike D’Antoni, and the rest is history.
4. JARED DUDLEY
The Suns’ sharpshooter and unrepentant social media fan, who’s now being mentioned extensively in the Rudy Gay trade talks, hasn’t just grabbed passes from Nash during his career. When Dudley was traded from Charlotte during his second year in the league in 2008-09, the Suns inherited a pudgy, underachieving forward unable to stay with quicker opponents and unable to keep his wind during the Suns’ sprints down the court in the heyday of SSOL. But Nash tutored the young forward on the ways of a good diet and exercise. The re-calibrated eating habits of Dudley led him to shed a few pounds, and his new, lithe physique has allowed him to become a solid starter at the three with the Suns. His scoring average increased in each of the years he played with Nash in Phoenix, and you can be sure he’s still watching what he eats for fear of the specter of Nash maligning his poor diet.
3. MICHAEL FINLEY & SHAWN MARION (tie)
Together with Nash and Nowitzki, Michael Finley and company were the offensive triumvirate who spearheaded Mark Cuban’s attack-mode style in Dallas. Finley desperately needed the help after a 1997-98 season that saw the team fail to win more than 20 games. The second-leading scorer on that team over the long haul (Cedric Ceballos and Dennis Scott got injured) was Hubert Davis (at just over 11 points per contest). So you can imagine how happy Finley was when the two blondies showed up before the 1998-99 season. It took a year – the Mavericks were a little better the next season during the strike-shortened 1999 campaign, going 19-31. But the turn of the millennium saw them get to 40-42 and into the rearview mirror of Western Conference playoff contention. The 2000-2001 squad, with Nash and Nowitzki coming into their own, saw the Mavericks go 53-29 and win their first playoff series since an undersized Mark Aguirre was terrorizing opposing small forwards in the aforementioned 1987-88 season. Finley was finally on a winner, and he had Nash (and Nowitzki) to thank for that good fortune.
Shawn “Matrix” Marion was the do-everything small forward for the SSOL Suns. His awkward-looking jumper didn’t mean a thing when he was getting wide open looks in Phoenix’s, borderline dictatorial offense (Nash would be Stalin in that analogy). The best stretch of Marion’s 13-year (and counting) carer came when he was teamed with Nash on those incredibly fun Suns teams. He averaged a double-double in consecutive seasons as he became the guy who could get you 10 rebounds and 18 points a game while serving as the only guy on that Suns team who could be considered a defensive stopper.
When Marion was dealt to Miami during the 2007-08 season, all his numbers dropped. It’s no coincidence that Nash had covered most of the glaring weaknesses in Marion’s game (an inability to get his own shot, and one of the most inconsistent three-point shots – not to mention the ugliest – in history). Steve Nash allowed Shawn Marion to do what he does best, and when he was taken away, Marion faltered. The same could be said for the next two guys on our list.
2. MIKE D’ANTONI
The mastermind behind the offense that rocked the NBA during the mid and late 2000s, there’s no way D’Antoni’s up-n-down offense, where there was no such thing as a bad shot, would have ever worked without the floppy-haired Nash to spearhead the attack. The Suns might not have ever gotten over the hump of the Spurs and their more traditional success based on defense and the interior play of Tim Duncan, but they were damn close. We can all remember those Western Conference slugfests when the Suns and Spurs did battle. Nash won two straight MVP awards (our condolences to Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O’Neal) playing in D’Antoni’s system, and he was heralded as an offensive savant. They even managed to recover from the loss of Amar’e Stoudemire for all but three games during the 2005-06 season, and still finish first in the Pacific Division and make it to the conference finals. A couple breaks their way, and we’re talking about a possible Suns title and D’Antoni’s inclusion in the Hall of Fame. Most, if not all, of that was due to Steve Nash.
After D’Antoni fled for New York following the 2007-08 season, he was stuck in point guard hell and only made the playoffs during the bastardized ‘Melo season. Meanwhile, the Suns recovered under new coach Alvin Gentry to make the Western Conference Finals in 2009-2010. D’Antoni only made the playoffs during one 15-game stretch with Carmelo before getting canned late last season, and there’s a solid chance he never would have been hired by the Lakers this season if Nash hadn’t fractured his leg in the second game of the season, effectively ending Mike Brown‘s tenure with the L.A. Hall of Famers before it began. Now Nash will have to save his coach one more time and get this antiquated Lakers team into the playoffs, possibly without Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol (both are out indefinitely). Yeah, you could say Nash gave possibly his biggest assist to Mike D’Antoni. Except for this next guy on our list.
1. AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE
Possibly no player benefited more from the arrival of Nash in Phoenix than Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire played with one other point guard of note before Nash showed up in the summer of 2004. There was his rookie season with Stephon Marbury that saw him average over 13 points and eight rebounds a game as he claimed Rookie of the Year honors and gave us at least 10 SportsCenter anchor freakouts after one of his dunks. The next season saw him jump to 20 and nine in his averages and it became clear the Suns had lucked out by drafting him ninth overall out of Cypress Creek High School in 2002.
But things didn’t really pick up until Marbury was traded to New York during Stoudemire’s second year. The Suns failed to make the playoffs that year, but after Nash’s arrival and with D’Antoni firmly ensconced on the bench, the 2004-05 Phoenix Suns won 62 games to take the No. 1 seed into the West playoffs. Stoudemire’s points per game average jumped dramatically to 26.0 as he made his first All-Star team that year, too. The penetration and sixth sense of Nash to know exactly when and where to get Stoudemire the ball helped form the most dynamic duo in the league, and for the next three seasons (not counting the one where he was injured), even with the loss of Joe Johnson to Atlanta, the Suns dominated the Western Conference. Just look at the video below of Steve Nash’s 10 greatest assists; who is at the receiving end of the majority of them?
Yes, Amar’e looked like an MVP candidate during his first half year playing for D’Antoni in New York during the 2010-11 campaign, but he quickly broke down after logging all those minutes to save D’Antoni’s job, and by the season’s second half, in came Carmelo. So we’ve never really gotten a good chance at looking at Amar’e without his favorite floppy-headed point. That being said, he’s struggled mightily since the arrival of Carmelo in New York (we’ll see how they fit together moving forward this year), and it again lends credence to the idea that Steve Nash helped create the All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire we all know and love.
Now Steve Nash isn’t the sort of guy that would ever align with any of the beliefs we’ve stated in this piece – he’s way to humble for that – but we still think he’s dished dimes to hundreds of guys over his career, but no six relied on him as thoroughly as these guys. So, congratulations Steve Nash on your 10,000th assist. It’ll just be another milestone to put on your Hall of Fame bust (we hope it features you with the longer hair), and we hope all of these guys pay you the respect you deserve. They needed you way more than they’ll ever admit.
Who benefitted the most from playing with Nash?
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Who did Steve Nash assist the most? ›
That means Nash has more assists just to Stoudemire than his replacement in Phoenix, Goran Dragic, has in his entire career (1,124). Nash might still be most connected to Dirk Nowitzki (797), who checks in third after Shawn Marion (823).What is Steve Nash's career free-throw percentage? ›
In the history of the NBA, no player has converted free throws at a higher rate than Nash. That's right: Nash leaves the game as the all-time leader in free-throw percentage with an absurd tally of 90.43 percent.Why did Steve Nash leave the Suns? ›
His unselfish play and fantastic work ethic should serve as an example to every NBA player. The fact that Nash now plays for divisional rival Los Angeles Lakers is not his fault. He was traded because the team had to go in a new direction and rebuild, but Nash did not abandon the team.Who has the most assist of all-time? ›
National Basketball Association all-time assists leaders 1946-2022. John Stockton is the all-time assists leader of the National Basketball Association with a total of 15,806 assists in his career.Who is the fastest NBA player to 20000 points? ›
Stephen Curry has the best free throw percentage in NBA history: 90.69%.What is Steph Curry's career free-throw percentage? ›
Total free throw attempts: 11,152 (3rd all time)
O'Neal isn't exactly known for his effective free throw shooting. His career average of 52.7 percent from the charity stripe isn't anything to sneeze at, though in 02-03 he shot a sizzling 62.2 percent from the free throw line.
Not being able to dunk hasn't hindered Steve Nash at all during a 17-year NBA career.What is Michael Jordan free-throw percentage? ›
Michael Jordan hit 83.5 percent from the free-throw line in his career.
Why was Steve Nash so good? ›
If you look into free throws chapter in the history of NBA, Steve Nash with 90.4% AVG is one among the few legends. Other than free throws his ball handling and play making skills are exceptional. His ability to move the ball and his passing IQ stats were through the roof. He led the league in assists for two years.Who did the Suns trade for Steve Nash? ›
Kidd cemented himself as a bona fide star during his tenure in Phoenix. 4. The trade: The Suns send Steve Nash to the Dallas Mavericks for Pat Garrity, Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells, and a 1999 first round pick (Shawn Marion).Why did Steve Nash win MVP? ›
Steve Nash upped his scoring average to 18.8 points and again led the NBA in assists during the 2005-06 season. He also put together a 50-40-90 campaign while leading the NBA in true shooting percentage. Yet, other players were every bit as deserving of that MVP, if not more so.Who is the king of football all time? ›
With 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, Pele is undoubtedly the king of football. Though Pele sits second on the list of players with the most goals in football history with 765 official goals to his name, it doesn't take into account his heroics in friendly matches.Who is the king of assist in football? ›
Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi has provided the most assists in football. The Argentina captain has tallied 377 assists in his record-breaking career for club and country.Who is the best player in the world all time? ›
Brazilian legend Pele is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time. No player has won more World Cups than him, and that alone should be enough to justify the Brazilian's inclusion at the top of this list. Goalscorer supreme, Pele was also the focal point of attack for club and country.Who is the fastest NBA player to reach 10000 points? ›
In the Nuggets' 127-109 win over the Wizards, Jokic recorded his career 10,000th point and in the process joined the exclusive club in just 516 games. The only player to do it faster than the Serbian was Larry Bird, who did it in 515 games.Who made the first 3 pointer in NBA history? ›
Three years later in June 1979, the NBA adopted the three-point line (initially on a one-year trial) for the 1979–80 season, despite the view of many that it was a gimmick. Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics is credited with making the first three-point shot in NBA history on October 12, 1979.Who is the fastest NBA player to 30000 points? ›
Steph Curry is without a doubt the best 3-point shooter of all time. His 3-point percentage is absolutely elite at 42.8%, especially considering the difficulty of shots he takes.
Who has missed the most free throws in NBA history? ›
Wilt Chamberlain has missed the most career free throws, with 5,805 misses.Who has the lowest free throw percentage in NBA history? ›
Ben Wallace has the worst career free-throw percentage, at 41.4 percent.How many free throws has Curry missed? ›
Stephen Curry has missed 325 free throws in his career.How rich is Stephen Curry? ›
|Net Worth:||$160 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Mar 14, 1988 (34 years old)|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
- 1 LeBron James93%
- 2 Stephen Curry72%
- 3 Kevin Durant69%
- 4 Carmelo Anthony60%
- 5 Kyrie Irving59%
- 6 James Harden57%
- 7 Russell Westbrook54%
- 8 Chris Paul53%
Charles Barkley averaged 73.5 percent from the free-throw line in his career.Is there anyone in the NBA that Cannot dunk? ›
NBA players who cannot dunk: Patty Mills
Patty Mills, who has played for the San Antonio Spurs his entire career, has never dunked in his entire basketball career. He joined the NBA in 2012. Mills, who is from Australia, played for the St. Mary's College team before playing in two international basketball leagues.
In fact, dunking — the most efficient, and arguably most exciting shot in basketball — is about 56 years older than Zion himself. In 1944, college basketball saw its first-ever dunk, when Oklahoma A&M's Bob "Foothills" Kurland dunked by accident. Yes, you read that correctly.
Who is the shortest person to dunk in the NBA? ›
Given the fact that Muggsy Bogues didn't ever dunk in-game, the title of “shortest NBA player to dunk” belongs to Spud Webb. Measuring just 5-foot-7, Spud Webb not only dunked in games, but even won the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.Who has the most 10 assist games in NBA history? ›
John Stockton had the most games with 10+ assists, with 863 games.Who has the most triple doubles in NBA history? ›
Moses Malone has averaged the fewest career assists per game when putting up 20.0+ points per game, with 1.4 per game.Who is the goat of basketball all time? ›
LeBron James just became the GOAT basketball player—in all-time earnings. But he's actually still in Michael Jordan's shadow | Fortune.How many hours per day did Michael Jordan practice? ›
Even though he was filming six days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the athlete managed to fit in about five hours of practice. He used the two-hour break he got every day to work out with his personal trainer Tim Grover.Who is better LeBron or Jordan? ›
LeBron James: Better Overall Player
King James is superior to Jordan in assists per game (7.4), rebounds per game (7.5), field goal percentage (50.5) and three-point field goal percentage (34.6). That said, it's no wonder James has 105 career triple doubles, while Jordan could only record 28.
Steve Nash did not only play against Bryant like Irving, Harden, and Durant. He was his teammate on the Lakers in his final years as a player in the league and was in the same draft class as Bryant (1996).How rich is Steve Nash? ›
Steve Nash is a Canadian professional basketball player who has a net worth of $100 million in 2022.Is John Stockton a Hall of Famer? ›
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States Olympic basketball team. In 1996, he was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
What was Steve Nash career high? ›
Steve Nash had his most points in a game on December 22, 2006 and on December 7, 2006, with 42 points.Did Steve Nash ever make the finals? ›
Nash never won a championship as a player
Steve Nash fell short of getting a ring as a player. His teams never got to the NBA Finals. It didn't help that the Mavericks and Suns were up against dynasties in the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. In 2003, Dallas ran into the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.
Kobe Bryant played 42 games with Steve Nash in his career.What year did Steve Nash play with Kobe? ›
The 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers with Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol failed to live up to expectations. As quickly as they formed, they broke up when Howard left in free agency in 2013.What is Dennis Rodman net worth right now? ›
As of October 2022, Dennis Rodman's net worth is roughly $500 Thousand. Dennis Rodman is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. Rodman was nicknamed “The Worm”.Who is highest paid NBA coach? ›
- Who are the highest-paid coaches in the NBA?
- Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs: $11.5 million.
- Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors: $9.5 million.
- T-3. Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers: $8.5 million.
- T-3. Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat: $8.5 million.
- T-5. Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks: $8 million.
- T-5. ...
Charles Barkley is a retired professional basketball player and current television sports analyst who has a net worth of $60 million. Charles' net worth would be much higher, but he admittedly blew an estimated $10-30 million during his lifetime gambling.Who did John Stockton assist the most? ›
USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
John Stockton, the former Utah Jazz player and one of Gonzaga University's basketball team's most famous alumni, has lost his season tickets to home games after a disagreement with the university's athletics department over its mask mandate.
After retiring from the NBA, Malone joined the staff of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs basketball team in 2007 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 twice – for his individual career, and as a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team.
How many 40 point games does Steve Nash have? ›
Steve Nash had 2 games played with 40+ points.How many free throws has Steve Nash missed? ›
Steve Nash missed 324 free throws in his career.Can Steve Nash dunk? ›
Not being able to dunk hasn't hindered Steve Nash at all during a 17-year NBA career.