NBA

2 NHL Stars Babysat Nets Coach Steve Nash When He Grew up in Canada

The next stage of Steve Nash’s legendary basketball career has arrived.

A legendary point guard, Nash is now the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach. Nash inherits a team with star point guard Kyrie Irving and forward Kevin Durant, who will one day join Nash in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Before he had an incredible career on the hardwood, Nash grew up a soccer and hockey-loving boy in Canada. Along the way, Nash was lucky enough to have two future NHL stars babysit him in British Columbia.

Steve Nash is a legendary point guard

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Although he played 18 seasons, Steve Nash is easily best known for his dominant run in the 2000s.

The Dallas Mavericks used the 15th overall pick of a loaded 1996 NBA draft on Nash, a point guard from Santa Clara University. After a few ho-hum years, Nash broke out in 2000-01, averaging 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in 70 games and 70 starts for the Mavericks.

From that season through the 2011-12 campaign, Nash averaged 16.6 points on 49.6% shooting and 43.4% from three-point range. Nash added 9.8 assists in 853 games and starts for the Mavericks and Phoenix Suns.

An eight-time All-Star, Nash won the MVP Award twice and led the league in assists on five different occasions.

Nash averaged 17.3 points and 8.8 assists in 120 career playoff games.

Nash is now coaching the Brooklyn Nets

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Steve Nash entered the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, over four years after he played his final game alongside Kobe Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Now, Nash is the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach. Nash inherits a Nets team that turned itself into a dangerous threat in the Eastern Conference by adding Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the summer of 2019.

Brooklyn went 35-37 in the pandemic-affected 2019-20 season. Irving battled injuries and Durant spent the season recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals.

The trio of Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, and Spencer Dinwiddie kept the Nets alive all season. Toronto swept Brooklyn in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Steve Nash met NHL stars when he grew up in Canada

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Although he was born in South Africa, Steve Nash spent most of his childhood in Canada.

Naturally, Nash was — and remains — a serious hockey and soccer fan in addition to his love for basketball. Part of his passion for hockey may have come from his neighbors.

In a 2007 interview with the Vancouver Canucks’ official website, Nash said that he lived next door to Geoff and Russ Courtnall, both of whom played in the NHL. The Courtnall brothers, who played in the 1980s and 1990s, babysat a young Nash.

Nash, 46, is 12 years younger than Geoff and nine years younger than Russ.