Nash will get Warriors championship ring, but won't attend ceremony

Joe Wolfond
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

It may not be the way he would've chosen to win it, but Steve Nash is finally getting a championship ring.

The Golden State Warriors will unfurl their 2017 banner and receive their rings ahead of Tuesday night's regular-season opener, and due to his role as a Warriors player development consultant, Nash is among those who earned jewelry.

Though the former two-time MVP is honored to be recognized and rewarded, he won't accept the team's invitation to take part in the ring ceremony.

"This is their moment," Nash told Marc Stein of the New York Times. "I couldn't be happier to be part of a championship team and, more importantly, this championship culture.

"But when you've played 18 years in the NBA and you win it all as a consultant, it doesn't feel right to do anything but stay in the background. I don't want to disrespect anything or upset anyone, but I don't feel like it's my place to be there."

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr understands Nash's reticence, and generally thinks too much is made of the the number of titles (or lack thereof) on the resumes of all-time greats. Kerr, who's one of just eight players with a better career 3-point percentage than Nash, won five championships as a role player with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. He'd gladly trade the rings for Nash's accomplishments.

"I don't think Steve, for one second, looks back on his career and thinks, 'Oh, my God, I didn't win a ring,'" Kerr told Stein.

Kerr added, "I think fans and the media kind of overrate that whole ring thing. I would trade my career for Nash's in a heartbeat. Would I want to be a role player on championship teams or be a superstar like Steve was and dominate games and seasons?"

The coach also cited Nash's onetime pedigree as a player as something unique that he brings to the Warriors.

"The other thing is that Steve can go to Kevin (Durant) or Steph (Curry) and talk to them as a former superstar who's been in their shoes," Kerr said. "I can't do that. He was a two-time MVP. He's literally lived their life. I didn't live their life as a player; I lived Ian Clark's life."