Hello again Lakers fans, and more specifically, Steve Nash fans!
With training camp set to open this Saturday, and Steve Nash set to turn 40 in February, I thought I would take a moment to look back on Nash’s career and count down for you my Top Five Steve Nash Accomplishments (so far):
5. Steve Nash Is Currently the NBA’s Career Free Throw Percentage Leader
At the moment, Steve Nash’s NBA career free throw percentage is 90.42%, which puts him in first place ahead of the retired Mark Price, who sits at 90.39% (no one else is above 90.00%). Nash’s lead is so precarious, though, that if he were to start the season 0-2 from the free throw line, he would fall back into second place.
While it’s certainly possible that Nash will fall behind Price again at some point before he retires, my prediction is that when he finally does retire he will be firmly in first place, and this is because Nash continues to improve from the line. Over his last nine seasons, Nash has shot 91.24% from the free throw line, including a stellar 92.24% in 2012-13.
4. Steve Nash is the President and CEO of the 50-40-90 Club
A player enters the 50-40-90 club when, over the course of an NBA season, he shoots at least 50% from the field, at least 40% from beyond the arc, and at least 90% from the line. This has only been accomplished 10 times since the advent of the three-point line in 1979-80.
It has been done by Kevin Durant (2012-13), by Dirk Nowitzki (2006-07), by Reggie Miller (1993-94), by Mark Price (1988-89), by Larry Bird twice (1986-87 and 1987-88), and by Steve Nash a whopping four times (2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10)!
(Jose Calderon shot 50-40-90 in 2007-08, as did Steve Kerr in 1995-96; however, in both instances they failed to make the minimum number of shots required to qualify.)
What’s entirely ridiculous, though, is that Nash is almost shooting 50-40-90 for his 17-year career, with current shooting percentages of 49.1% FG, 42.8% 3-PT, and 90.4% FT. As tempting as it is to imagine Nash retiring with career averages of 50-40-90, though, it would be nearly impossible for him to reach 50% FG for his career at this late stage. If Nash could somehow manage to take another 2,000 shots in his career (a big stretch), then he would still have to hit 1,114 of them, or 55.7% (an even bigger stretch).
Despite the fact that Nash is unlikely to be the first person to retire as a 50-40-90 career shooter, there is still plenty of evidence to support the argument that he is the greatest shooter in NBA history.