A two-time MVP and eight-time All-Star over his long and distinguished career in the Association, Steve Nash has truly lived a basketball life. But having not played in a competitive game since Lakers training camp in 2014, the obsession with success that drove the legendary sharpshooter just isn't where it once was.
"If I happen to be somewhere where a ball rolls out to me, I'll shoot, but I never go anywhere with the purpose of doing it. I'm not really interested in that anymore. I still love the game, love to be a part of it; I just follow it in my own way," Nash explained in an interview with Bleacher Report's Yaron Weitzman.
Backing away from full-court competition isn't a shock given the litany of injuries that impacted the future Hall of Fame point guard throughout his career. Given his status as one of the greatest shooters of all time, however, it's surprising to hear that Nash doesn't get his jump-shot reps in, if for nothing else than out of habit.
Only seven players have averaged 50-40-90 percent shooting splits from the field, 3-point line, and free-throw line in any one season - Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Mark Price, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Nash himself. He narrowly missed out on posting those elite splits for his entire career: He shot 49 percent from the field, 42.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 90.4 percent from the charity stripe over 18 seasons with the Suns, Mavericks, and Lakers.
What changed for the 43-year-old, who now spends his free time being a dad, working on media projects, and consulting for a Warriors team which employs two of his fellow 50-40-90 brethren?
"What really excited me at the end was the challenge of being the best I can be and prolonging my best level and playing against the best players in the world," said Nash. "But now that I don't have the opportunity to play against the best players in the world when it counts, in front of fans, it doesn't excite me as much."