It’s hard to believe Steve Nash has been out of the league for almost three years now, given what a central and imposing figure he was during his playing career. That career will get its due Friday night when the two-time MVP joins a stacked class of inductees — including Jason Kidd, Ray Allen and Grant Hill — at the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony in Springfield.
It’s a great opportunity to look back on the impact he had on the league during his stellar tenure with the Phoenix Suns, and there’s been no shortage of pieces this week attempting to properly gauge the significance of his contributions to basketball. Much of that stems directly from former coach Mike D’Antoni’s recent comments that he regrets that he not encouraging Nash to shoot more.
It’s become more and more en vogue to look back at the “Seven Seconds or Less” Suns with perfect hindsight and see the evolutionary bridge to modern basketball, with Nash serving as the link between the old-school, pass-first point guard and the more modern way to approach the position, one that gives sharpshooting point guards the green light to fire away from three. Under D’Antoni’s stewardship, those Suns squads of the mid-2000s were the outliers of the league, hoisting up more three-pointers at their peak than anyone in the NBA at the time and playing at a breakneck pace better aligned with what you see today.