History was made in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ game versus the Houston Rockets as Steve Nash passed Mark Jackson to take sole possession of third on the all-time assists list. This was certainly a big night for Nash, whose career has taken a difficult turn since becoming a member of the Lakers. Injuries have forced him to miss significant amounts of time, but luckily coach Mike D’Antoni decided to play him in order to catch Jackson.
Although Los Angeles fell to the Rockets 145-130, Nash’s record was able to overshadow what has been a brutal season.
Looking back on his career, we have never seen such a unique player. Nash’s craftiness in how he actually racked up all of those assists is very remarkable. Being such a small player seemed to have benefitted him in how he is able to split his defenders and penetrate the defense. Once in the lane, Nash had the option of either kicking it out to the open man or finishing at the rim.
Having the advantage of a coach with D’Antoni’s style for the majority of his career was also a major contributing factor to his success. While a member of the Phoenix Suns, Nash was fortunate enough to play with a ton of 3-point shooters, in addition to Amar’e Stoudemire. It was the perfect fit as he was able to capture two league MVP awards. These were the days when Stoudemire still had bounce in his step, having the ability to throw tremendous dunks down over his defenders.
Furthermore, we cannot overlook the scoring abilities Nash exhibited in his prime. Efficiency was his middle name as he recorded multiple 50-40-90 seasons while in Phoenix. The astounding fact about Nash, though, is that he and Larry Bird are the only players to ever record more than one 50-40-90 season.
The bottom line is that we should all appreciate the amazing career that Nash has had. Though it is rapidly coming to an end, we must pay tribute to an NBA great while he is still in the league.