It’s nothing new that dads are usually proud of their sons, but one dad is understandably fond of his “Sun.”
John Nash, father to a certain two-time NBA MVP Suns point guard, was in town last week to work in some impromptu family get-togethers. Arriving in time to catch his son-in-law (and Vancouver Canucks forward) Manny Malhorta’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes, the elder Nash stopped by Suns practice earlier in the day to check in on his son Steve, who coincidentally had a game the same night.
“I can only go to one,” the elder Nash laughed. “I don’t get to see my son-in-law play much, and we get to watch Steve a lot more, obviously. Steve is cool about that. He’s cool about everything.”
While Suns fans would probably agree with that particular assessment of the playmaker out on the court, what wasn’t always a given was Steve’s road to NBA success, coming out of a small West Coast school.
“In his junior year at Santa Clara, a couple of people in the area said, ‘You know, he may want to consider coming out early.’ I didn’t know anything about basketball. That person said he just wasn’t well-known enough on the East Coast. I thought, ‘Really? The NBA?’ His mom thought he would play in the NBA when he came out of the cradle. She has great faith.
“Growing up, he was ridiculously addicted to practice. His mom is very committed to doing things right, so he gets that from her.”
Steve’s mom didn’t make last week’s trip to Phoenix, but she did a little family hobnobbing of her own back in Canada. She stayed in British Columbia to attend Steve’s brother’s retirement party, who’s hanging up his soccer cleats and becoming a coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps club.
While Steve and the “R” word are still a thing of the future, John feels his son will make a seamless transition into his non-basketball passion when the time comes – film production.
“That’s something that hasn’t run its course yet,” he said. “Already now, he’s involved with his cousin, Ezra Holland, in the creative part of it, and that’s something he really enjoys. He has a good time with it.
“But he loves (basketball). He says he doesn’t come to work every day – he comes to play every day. That not only shows the way he plays the game, but also what he does in life. People always ask me what he’ll do after he stops playing. Whatever it is, I’m sure he’ll be successful. He’ll bring that same passion to whatever direction he goes.”
And like any supportive father, John Nash is and always will be behind his son on and off the court.
“I am proud of Steve,” he said. “He respects his body and keeps himself in immaculate physical condition. He has never changed as a person. For all of the things he’s done, he’s still very respectful. I’m also amazed that he can keep going at such a high level for so long.
“He’s happy every day. Obviously there are disappointments in sports. You win some, you lose some. Seeing him learn to cope with losing with integrity and exposure and enjoy the winning, he still has that passion for the game. I enjoy seeing that because that’s such a big part of his life.”