It might sound like a weird thing to say about a two-time NBA MVP and sure-fire Hall-of-Famer, but Steve Nash is probably a little underrated. Critics are still grumbling to this day that Nash didn’t deserve to win either of his MVP awards. They complain about his weak defense. But all of this overshadows what a unique player he is and what an incredible season he is having. In fact, Nash is having the greatest season a 38-year-old point guard has ever had.
Nash is shooting 57%, third best in the NBA (Stephen Curry is the only other guard among the top 20). He’s among the league leaders in three-point and free throw accuracy also. He’s leading the NBA in assists, despite having Marcin Gortat as the best offensive weapon at his disposal. And he’s playing 31.5 minutes a game – right in line with his career average. And he’s doing all this at the age of 38. That is the truly remarkable thing – he’s still competing at such a high level at such an advanced basketball age. In fact, it is unheard of.
Here is what the rest of the players on our top 10 point guards of all-time list (which Nash was a part of) were doing at age 38:
Magic Johnson: retired
Oscar Robertson: retired
John Stockton: NBA All-Star: 12 points, 9 assists, 30 minutes
Bob Cousy: retired (although he came back for an ill-fated seve game stint at age 41)
Jason Kidd: won NBA title with Dallas: 8 points, 8 assists, 4 boards, 33 minutes
Isiah Thomas: retired
Walt Frazier: retired
Tiny Archibald: retired
Gary Payton: 5 points, 3 assists, 22 minutes
So history dictates that Nash should be retired at this point. He sure as hell shouldn’t be an All-Star and be leading the league in assists. All the other all-time greats that were still playing at age 38 had stats and games that had noticeably declined. Nash is actually putting up better than career average numbers across the board this season. You can rightfully argue that other point guards accomplished more than Nash up to this point, but none have done as much at age 38.