Steve Nash on Life after Basketball, Rehab, His Training Regiment, and Why He Won’t Be Unretiring from Canadian National TeamSeptember 15, 2011 – 9:00 am by Michael Bean
Steve Nash is going to be fascinating to keep an eye on once he decides to call it a career in the NBA. The one caveat though is he may not be done playing anytime soon. Well, that’s a bit of a stretch, but from the sound of it, Nash has been hard at work for years now perfecting an exercise and diet regiment. Yes 36 years of age sounds ancient in basketball years, but let’s face it, we all know some men or women in their late 30s who are in tip-top shape. We’ll see how long he wants to play, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe he couldn’t be a top-10 point guard into his early 40’s.
Now if only that pesky lockout would resolve itself so that Nash can continue his remarkable career, and fans can return to watching him and the bevy of other stars in the league right now that collectively are putting out a better in-game product than what the league has seen in a long, long time. Get it done gentleman.
Nash joined 590 The Fan in Toronto to talk about his new business venture with Liquid Nutritious, his passion for healthy living and eating, appreciating that others see his off-court ventures as a reflection of the personal growth he’s experienced since entering the NBA, the Game 7 loss by his beloved Canucks in this year’s NHL Finals, the unfortunate riots that ensued in downtown Vancouver afterwards, this being the time of year he typically starts his basketball training for the upcoming season, why he’s training as if there’s going to be a season as usual, how he’s trained year round for the past six or seven years so as not to risk injury at his age, why he explained his decision to not participate on the Canadian National Team on Twitter this past weekend, the reasoning behind him not playing on the National Team since around the age of 30, what he thinks of the state of Canadian basketball, and what he’d do to improve the Canadian hoops program.
How his business ventures reflect the personal growth that he’s created for himself since entering the NBA:
“Well thanks. Like I said, I really want to set myself up so I have options in fields that I’m passionate — Liquid Nutrition, the Steve Nash Sports Clubs in British Columbia, the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Steve Nash Foundation — I wish not everything had my name on it, but it is an opportunity for me to do stuff that I am passionate about well beyond my playing days. So that’s the design. And thanks, I’m glad it fits in your eyes that it’s an ‘on’ kind of message for what I’m all about.”
His reflections on the NHL Finals with his beloved Canucks and the riots that ensued in the city of Vancouver after the Game 7 loss:
“Yeah, obviously the series was disappointing, but at the same time, the guys played great, they brought a lot of excitement to the city and just couldn’t quite turn the corner in the Finals. But the rioting thing was just a crazy situation. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful, peaceful cities in the world, and then all of a sudden, every time we lose the Stanley Cup Finals we turn into monsters. But it’s not Canucks fans, it’s opportunists that put on a Canucks jersey and go downtown and take it as an opportunity to get out their frustrations or whatever they’re expressing. But Vancouver is still a great city, it was a disappointing moment but we’ll rebound from it. And I think the Canucks will be great again this year so we’re looking forward to it.”
On this being the time when he typically starts training for the upcoming season:
“Absolutely. I don’t have the frame of mind that we’re going to go back to work late or in December or whatever. And at my age, I’ve decided for the last five or six years that I don’t take time off, because I feel like it’s a dangerous territory to enter when you get older. So I stay in shape, I don’t play a lot of basketball, this summer I’ve been doing a lot of rehabbing an injury. And I feel great so I’m definitely getting into that space where I want to go to camp October 1st. That may or may not happen, but that’s my frame of mind.”
On why he decided to turn to Twitter to explain why he would not be playing on the Canadian National Team:
“Well I appreciated the passion some people on Twitter had for the program. They want to see the program do well, so they were disappointed I didn’t play; and I wanted to tell them why I didn’t play. It’s simple. A lot of people said ‘oh, well he doesn’t deserve a pass.’ Absolutely not, I don’t deserve a pass. I’m not above that. I made a really tough decision seven years ago to retire from the National Team, Mark Cuban didn’t re-sign me because he thought I was about to combust and my career would be over any day now. I was carrying injuries through every season, I was carrying injuries every summer with the National Team and doing it year after year for the better part of 13 years since I was 16, 17 years old, and something had to give. I thought, ‘I’m 30 years old, do I want to continue playing year round and my career could possibly be over in a year or two, or my value be gone? Or do I want to make a decision and try to play as long as I can?’ That’s the decision I made, and at the time people said ‘thanks for your 13 years of service busting your butt around the world with a bad back. The National Team was the greatest experience of my career. This summer, the truth is I couldn’t have played anyway rehabbing my pelvic instability, but to be fair, it really wasn’t even on my radar because I had retired so long ago. And I have only gotten to the stage now where I could start training basketball-wise everyday.”
On how he’d assess the Canadian National Team and what he would do to fix or improve it:
“Well I think the program’s really needed an overhaul for a long time. We’ve had some really good people involved, but it’s not been whole. Jay Triano was great, you know, we had a lot of people that covered up a lot of deficiencies, but to me it’s always had a disconnect in the community; we’ve never really had every on in the basketball community on board. So I think we need to unify, I think we need to develop players — which we’re doing, but continue at a higher rate — and we need to build chemistry with the current players. So it’s doable and I look forward to getting more involved with the program in some capacity, and I’m excited by some of the talent that we’re developing — some of these young guys are phenomenal. So this is an opportunity to capitalize on their talent to inspire new talent and build chemistry and have some success with the National Team.”