Alex Stephenson Steve Nash: Totally Baller

Steve Nash is awesome. I’m not saying this because I’m a basketball-loving Canadian, or a guy who also happens to love hilariously awkward videos of NBA players doing the robot while Nas is performing a new single: I’m saying this because Nash is an anomaly.

The way Steve Nash plays basketball is inspiring, in only the way a point guard like himself or Chris Paul can make basketball look. I don’t mean inspiring like, “That assist was so gorgeous that I’m going to pen my debut novella right now!” but more in the way that he makes me want to be a better person. And he makes me want sports to be better as well.

Most sports writers love Nash not only for basketball reasons, but for non-sports reasons as well. Nash is the only athlete who made it moderately popular to compare a style of basketball to Marxism, which was briefly en vogue during the 2005 season, when Nash mentioned he was reading The Communist Manifesto because he wanted to get better perspective on the Che Guevara biography he had recently finished. When sports writers go nuts for Nash’s incomparable Nashiness, it’s mostly because Nash seems more like them than any other superstar athletes. Few athletes talk about reading Emmanuel Kant, and Etan Thomas doesn’t count because only die-hard fans know him and his poetry even exist. And what the media’s adoration of Nash represents is how unfortunately conservative all major media outlets’ coverage of sports is.

Professional athletes are a more conservative group than one might think. When you spend your life focusing on one skill (in this case, basketball), you need to dedicate so much time to the sport that you often don’t have time to give alternative opinions your time because you’re too busy running suicides.

Sports writers, on the other hand, are typically fairly liberal people. They have spent a lot of time being forced to read stuff like Dickens as they got their journalism degree, so naturally they gravitate to the person who says things that oppose the way athletes tend to look at their profession. Nash is anti-war; sports are confusingly compared to war almost every day. Nash loves soccer; in a pre-Beckham America, you might as well have said your favourite Backstreet Boy was Howie D. And what separates Nash from most athletes is that he likes saying these things out loud… into microphones, even!

The world of sports media needs new thought more than anybody seems to be aware of. There is nothing more boring and repetitive than sports commentary, mostly because in 2011 the majority of people who care about sports have a near-expert knowledge of them. You don’t need to tell me that Nash got an assist; I want you to tell me how that assist reflects society. And by doing things slightly different, Nash taught me about an ideal version of a world I suspect I hate. The only type of interesting thought is unconventional, and Nash is an unconventional man in a conventional world. While I love the conventions inherent in the sports themselves (I don’t want players to need to start exclusively shooting backwards), I despise the world that covers them conventionally. I don’t need anybody to explain the Xs and Os of basketball to me; I know how to run a fucking pick and roll. I want to know what that play says about life.

Comments

You're totally fine. A few of the best NBA peaylrs (namely Tim Duncan and Michael Jordan) weren't good basketball peaylrs until high school. You've got plenty of time and the best thing that helps is repetition. Find a court, get a ball, and go there religiously. The best way to get good fast is to get a trainer, but if that doesn't work out you can always find some online resource like YouTube to help get the fundamentals of the game down, and all it takes is practice and you'll get there!PS: Free throws are a huge thing to work on, coaches love peaylrs who can knock it down from the line.

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