Steve Nash is one of the greatest players in NBA history. He’s won two MVP awards, he’s an eight-time All-Star and he’s led the league in assists five times.
He is, in a word, great.
He’s also extremely private – which is why Michael Hamilton’s new film, Nash: The Movie, is so valuable. It brings us into the world, finally, of one of the greatest athletes of this generation – even if it took some convincing along the way.
“Yeah, he doesn’t like the spotlight,” Hamilton said on Ferrall on the Bench. “And we even touch on that in the film. But I’ve known Steve before we did the film, we have mutual friends in the basketball world and I’ve also done some work with his foundation. I think it just boiled down to a trust. He trusted me and just the relationship we had. It did take some convincing because, like you said, he doesn’t get it. (He’ll wonder), why does everybody want to talk about me and watch something about me? But obviously there’s a lot of folks that care about Steve.”
Nash is so private that he didn’t do endorsements for much of his career. In fact, the only reason he started doing them was to hopefully bring more attention to his foundation.
“You nailed it on the head,” Hamilton said. “It took some convincing even on the business side endorsing products. It just wasn’t him. I think in the film you’ll see that one of his business partners tells him, ‘Look, I know you don’t like doing this stuff, but the stuff that you do like doing is with your foundation and stuff like that. But if you do all these endorsements and you do all these other kind of engagements, you kind of get your name out there and then you have a platform for all the other stuff that you really care about with your foundation.’ It kind of was that light-bulb moment for him, and it was kind of amazing.”
You want to know what else is amazing? Nash’s work ethic. He’s taking heat from Lakers fans for having to sit out this season with a back ailment, but as bummed as some fans are that Nash can’t play, Nash is even more upset – and it’s not even close.
“He’s had obstacles his whole career,” Hamilton said. “He had the back issue when he was in Dallas. This is nothing new for him. He understands what his body can and cannot do, and he kind of deals with it and he kind of keeps moving on. But Ill tell you one thing, man. I had the opportunity to witness one of his workouts when he was trying to get right last year with the Lakers in Vancouver, and man, that guy works incredibly, incredibly hard.”
You would think a player as accomplished and as financially secure as Nash, especially at 40, maybe wouldn’t have the motivation to put in that kind of work. Nope. Nash gave everything he had – and then some.
“I would’ve gave up a long time ago,” Hamilton said. “It was just refreshing to see that. There’s still people out there who take this thing seriously.”