By: Aaron Nicholson
Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire were the faces of one of the fastest, most entertaining teams to grace the NBA hardwood. Not only were they the leaders of their seven-seconds-or-less style of offense in Phoenix, but they were also the 90s-babies versions of John Stockton and Karl Malone when met with a half-court offense. Though their path to basketball immortality was impeded by their rivals, the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers, their production as a duo is what secures them in the Top 15.From the moment Steve Nash returned to the Valley of the Sun, in the offseason headed into the 2004/05 season, he orchestrated the most offensively efficient team in the league every year until the 2010/11 season. Additionally, five of the top ten highest offensively rated teams in NBA History were headed by Nash. Steve Nash graced the court, equipped with eyes on the back of his head and a knack for threading the needle.
He won two Most Valuable Player awards in Phoenix, he led the league in assists three years in a row (averaging 11.2 APG during that span), and was a seven-time All-Star, all with Amar’e as his wingman. Nash was in strong consideration as one of the best shooters of all-time (before Steph Curry came into his element), given that he is the only player in NBA History to enter the exclusive 50-40-90 club and then have three more seasons upon entry. Steve Nash, the Phoenix Suns’ most recent Ring of Honor inductee, is a legend. His shooting, his passing, his perseverance, his grit. Not many NBA Players have been as clutch as Nash was; not many players were as transcendent to the game as Steve Nash was. MVSteve: one of the greatest floor generals this game had ever seen.
Amar’e Stoudemire retired from the NBA as one of the most interesting and most explosive big men to lace up. As one of the very last players to enter the league straight out of high school, Stoudemire showed he had a man’s body and an even bigger man’s mentality.
Stoudemire was given the nickname, “STAT”, the acronym meaning, Standing Tall And Talented. He posted a 13.5 PPG and 8.8 RPG stat line in 82 games for the Phoenix Suns in his rookie year, giving him the 2002/03 Rookie of the Year award. Though he endured a couple of micro-fracture surgeries, cutting short one season more than half way through a season, then ending his season after just three games in another, his value to the team was almost unmatched .
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