Steve Nash may be among the league’s leaders in assists for a team making a run at a top playoff seed in the West, but he is a lot more than just one of the NBA’s preeminent players. Just in the last few weeks, Nash lit the torch at the Olympics in his native Canada, finished producing a documentary on the Terry Fox Marathon, won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, made plans to attend and cover the World Cup in South Africa where he was born, and acted as a spokesman for Vitamin Water.
He is also the most ridiculous man in the world (see video below).
And Nash did all of this while leading the Phoenix Suns through significant lineup changes and incessant trade rumors and into the forefront of the NBA’s playoff conversation.
Steve Nash joined Bickley and MJ on XTRA 910 in Phoenix to talk about lighting the torch at the Olympics, watching the Gold Medal hockey game (in parts), being the most ridiculous man in the world, filming a documentary, and the direction of the Suns.
On lighting the torch at the Olympics:
“To light the torch at the opening ceremonies was the greatest experience of my career. To be called on to represent my country at that moment, at home, in front of the world, it was truly humbling. It made me feel really proud and connected to all Canadians. And to feel the Olympic spirit which is obviously a phenomenal tradition and opportunity. As a former Olympian and a fellow Canadian it was a great opportunity and I had a blast.”
On watching the Gold Medal hockey game as a fan:
“I watched the first period and half of the second period in the locker room. Then they dragged me to the bus on to the plane. I got home and I watched the second half of the third and overtime on Tivo. It was the worst flight of my life. It’s tough being a fan. It’s much more nervous watching than playing. To be up in the air and not be able to see it or know what’s going on was really painful. The information coming from the cockpit was not as swift as I would have liked. I was sweating it. They told me it went to overtime and I was not feeling so good in the stomach. But I put on my red mittens and Sid the Kid came through.”
On acting as the most ridiculous man in the world (for Vitamin Water):
“I’m a method actor, so I spent about four nights at a piano bar downtown and I was ready to roll. Sometimes I’m not sure if I am proud or embarrassed. But, I can poke a little fun at myself I guess. It’s been fun to do it and I am sure there will be more of it forthcoming. From me sometimes, the monotony of basketball questions probably hides my personality. So I apologize about that for fans who get the monotone wannabe Shaq out of me. When I am myself and in my element, I like to have fun and have a good time. I guess that’s probably more than anything who I am.”
On producing a documentary for ESPN’s 30 for 30:
“We are doing a documentary on Terry Fox the Canadian hero who lost his leg to cancer to cancer back in ’78 or ’79. In 1980, he attempted to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He is now a Canadian hero. He ran half-way across the country – a marathon a day for 143 days. He had a golf ball-size tumor in each lung. He ran 22 miles the day he walked into the doctor with tumors that size and the doctor said, ‘I can’t believe you walked in here, let alone ran a marathon a day.’ He was an incredible figure. He died eight months later and since then his Marathon of Hope has raised half a billion dollars and saved countless lives from cancer.”
And on where he sees the Suns going:
“I don’t know where we are in terms of where we can go. We are improving. That’s for sure. Obviously, our record shows that, but our focus has been there. This team needs to just stay focused and not worry so much about how far we can go but how much we can improve.”