Steve Nash’ Hall of Fame Induction Vital for Basketball in Canada
“I was never even supposed to be here.”
A humble and emotional Steve Nash spoke in front of a pleasant turn out in Springfield for the 2018 basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Inducted alongside another great point guard of his era, Jason Kidd, Nash’ impact on the game goes far beyond anything possible for a Canadian-born player. South African born, but raised on the west coast of Canada, Nash paved the way for countless Canadian basketball players who would come after him.
Before the Andrew Wiggins’ and Tristan Thompsons of the world, there was Nash who in a country obsessed with hockey culture made basketball cool. Along with Vince Carter, Nash was able to put basketball on the map north of the border and as the so-called “golden age” of basketball is upon us in the country, it all stems from the ground work laid down by Nash himself
“Steve Nash has been a tremendous icon, pioneer, humanitarian, teammate, friend and basketball player,” Said Rowan Barrett, a former member of the Canadian National team upon Nash’s retirement from the NBA. “Steve’s exploits on the hardwood and his class and character off the court, will leave an indelible mark on me and all that have had the good fortune to know him intimately or from a far. We at Canada Basketball will be supportive as Steve embarks on a new chapter in his life and will continue to share his passion of growing the game of basketball in Canada.”
The flash and competitiveness that Nash exuded on the court was matched by his professionalism and maturity off the floor.
“There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Steve’s impact on basketball in Canada. He was a huge inspiration to so many basketball players, coaches and fans in Canada,” said Senior Women’s National Team head coach Lisa Thomaidis.
At his Hall of Fame ceremony, everything came full circle as the greatest Canadian in NBA history was honoured for his level of play and for his role as an ambassador off the court for his home country. His impact on Canadian basketball may even supersede his impact on the NBA.
“Steve is easily one of the best point guards of all time,” Said former NBA-er Andrew Nicholson. “He really helped put Canada on the map with basketball. Dynamically changed the game and had a huge influence on the franchise he played for. I looked up to him when I was growing up and continue to take his advice as a player.
Without the likes of a Steve Nash we could question whether Canada would even experience its golden age at this point at time.
As Nash continues to contribute to the game off the court, his efforts to increase participation in basketball in Canada is constantly ongoing. He has etched his name in Canadian sports history and for that, his legacy will continue to live on.