Friday, June 4, 2010

Is Steve Nash a good athlete?

It appears the term athleticism needs re-defining or at least an expansion of what is the general definition. Here is Alan Stein (a major figure on conditioning affiliated with Nike) talking about the athleticism Nash displays, even if it is different from what the basketball highlight shows on the various networks offer every evening.
Steve Nash
by Alan Stein
June 2010

I am not sure if you saw it, but Steve Nash cried after his Phoenix Suns lost to the LA Lakers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals this past Saturday.  After showing sincere sportsmanship in congratulating Kobe and crew, the cameras briefly caught him shedding a few tears in the locker room as he hugged coach Alvin Gentry.

Seeing him cry made me respect him even more.

Steve Nash has a genuine passion you rarely see in professional sports. In the past couple of weeks, he has had his eye split open and his nose broken…and not a tear in sight. And yet he cares so much about winning, about his teammates, about the organization he plays for, and about the game of basketball… he was brought to tears when the season was officially over. I love that. I admire any player with that type of passion.

A colleague of mine, Brian McCormick, has been saying for years that even though Nash isn’t a highlight reel dunker, he is absolutely one of the best athletes in the NBA. I adamantly agree. Most people judge athletic prowess solely on one’s ability to jump. But Nash demonstrates his elite athletic ability in a myriad of other ways – hand/eye coordination, body control, balance, and the power to decelerate on a dime. And let’s not forget his stamina. He is always one of the best conditioned players in the league. I watched him do a halftime interview this past season and he wasn’t even remotely out of breath. And he had just played the entire first half!
Go here for the remainder of this fascinating article.

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