After a 19-year NBA career in which he twice won MVP honors, tallied the third-most assists in league history and assured his place in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game, Steve Nash formally announced he is walking away from the game Saturday in a letter published on The Players’ Tribune website.
“The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much — visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes,” Nash, 41, wrote. “The obsession became my best friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my ass by her.
“And that is what I’m most thankful for in my career. In my entire life, in some ways. Obviously, I value my kids and my family more than the game, but in some ways having this friend — this ever-present pursuit — has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable. I am so thankful. I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons about myself and about life. And of course I still have so much to learn. Another incredible gift.”
“To now realize that it’s over, it’s really difficult to put it into words,” Nash told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein in a “SportsCenter” sitdown that aired after Nash’s announcement Saturday.
“It’s just a weird transition. Every athlete goes through it. A lot of people say an athlete dies twice, and in some ways, without being salacious, that’s true. If you want to enjoy and be happy in life, you have in some ways to say goodbye to your former self. And that’s not easy, especially for guys. We’re not the most communicative of the species. So it’s hard to kind of put it all in perspective.”
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper took to Twitter to congratulate the British Columbia product.