Nash tweets he’s retiring from basketball

Canadian Steve Nash announces his basketball retirement on Twitter

Steve Nash dribbles up court in 2009

Steve Nash dribbles up court in 2009

By The Canadian Press

The face of Canadian basketball has called it a career.

Victoria’s Steve Nash announced his retirement Saturday following an illustrious 19-year NBA career that included two MVP awards. The 41-year-old Canadian made his announcement both on Twitter and in a letter on The Players’ Tribune, a website where he is a senior producer.

“I will likely never play basketball again,” Nash said in the letter. “It’s bittersweet. I already miss the game deeply, but I’m also really excited to learn to do something else.

“This letter is for anyone who’s taken note of my career. At the heart of this letter, I’m speaking to kids everywhere who have no idea what the future holds or how to take charge of their place in it. When I think of my career, I can’t help but think of the kid with his ball, falling in love. That’s still what I identify with and did so throughout my entire story.”

Nash’s announcement wasn’t surprising. The veteran point guard played in just 65 games over the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers due to injuries. Back and nerve issues prevented him from hitting the court at all this season.

Nash’s announcement created widespread reaction on social media.

“It was an honor to play with you @SteveNash and I’m proud to have you as a friend! Thanks for what you taught me. #2xMVP #Legend,” Lakers teammate Boris Diaw tweeted.

“Thank u to my big bro @SteveNash for being such an inspiration to Canadian basketball hopefuls like myself.Congratulations on you retirement,” tweeted Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson, a Brampton, Ont., native.

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry also commented on Nash’s announcement.

“Unbelievable career @SteveNash,” Lowry tweeted. “Glad I had a chance to play against you. It was an honor & pleasure! Enjoy the rest.”

B.C. Premier Christy Clark also commended Nash for an outstanding NBA tenure.

“@SteveNash exemplifies the values of hard work, team spirit, and giving back,” she tweeted. “Congratulations on an amazing career.”

An eight-time all-star, Nash ranks third in NBA history with 10,335 assists — behind only John Stockton and Jason Kidd. Nash also leaves as the league’s all-time leading free-throw shooter at 90.4 per cent.

Three times Nash was presented the Lionel Conacher Award as The Canadian Press’s male athlete of the year. About the only accomplishment missing from Nash’s impressive resume was playing for an NBA championship squad.

Nash also often wore Canada’s colours internationally, playing for his country at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and leading the national team into qualifying for the 2004 Games, where it fell just short. On May 8, 2012, Nash was named general manager of the Canadian senior national team and brought back Jay Triano as head coach.

The six-foot-three, 180-pound Nash won MVP awards in 2005 and 2006 while in Phoenix as the pointman of its up-tempo offence. But Nash’s tenure with the Suns began inauspiciously as the club dealt him to Dallas in 1998, just two years after drafting him in the first round, 15th overall, out of Santa Clara.

Nash was voted to his first NBA all-star game during his tenure in Dallas and teamed up with Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley to lead Dallas to a Western Conference final berth. He became a free agent after the 2003–’04 season and returned to Phoenix.

“I remember when Dirk and I were nobodies,” Nash wrote. “He used to say over dinner sometimes, ‘How are us two stiffs gonna make it in this league?’

“Somehow we made something of ourselves. After all the wins and all the great times we’ve had around the world together, what really means the most to me are the late nights early in our careers when we’d go back to the Landry Center in Dallas, to play a few more games of HORSE and one-on-one.”

It was during his second tenure in Phoenix when Nash earned his MVP honours and finished as the runner-up to Nowitzki 2006-’07. He led Phoenix to the Western Conference final in the 2004–’05 season.

“It will always hurt that Phoenix Suns fans didn’t get the championship they deserved during our run,” Nash wrote. “Yes, we had some bad luck but I always look back at it and think, I could’ve made one more shot, or not forced a turnover, or made a better pass.

“But I don’t regret anything. The arena was always sold out and rocking. It was the time of my life. Thanks, Phoenix.”

In 2012, the Lakers signed Nash to a three-year, US$28-million deal and sent four draft picks to Phoenix. But in just his second game with L.A., Nash broke a bone in his left leg and missed 24 games.

Still, Nash started 50 contests that season and averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 assists per game. But he played in 15 games last season, averaging 6.8 points and 5.7 assists.

“When I signed with the Lakers, I had big dreams of lifting the fans up and lighting this city on fire,” Nash said. “I turned down more lucrative offers to come to L.A. because I wanted to be in the ‘fire,’ and play for high risk and high reward in my last NBA chapter.

“In my second game here, I broke my leg and nothing was the same.”

And Nash also praised basketball fans for their continued support.

“Fans around the world have shown me so much appreciation throughout the years, it’s unbelievable,” Nash said. “Going out to shoot hour after hour, day after day as a kid, I never sought or dreamed of the amount of support and love people have shown.

“It’s been a huge source of motivation and inspiration. Thank you eternally.”

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read