At 38, Nash continues to excel

slider nash_sunsFor now, Steve Nash is taking things in stride.

Last week, the NBA assist leader was named to his eighth All-Star game and franchise-tying sixth as a member of the Suns. 

As the Suns continue their grueling strike-shortened schedule, he is asked in nearly every city about his future in Phoenix, the direction of the franchise and how he continues to play at a high level just days after his 38th birthday.

His teammates and coaching staff know what Nash means to the organization, both on and off the floor.

“Steve’s not really a vocal leader,” assistant coach Dan Majerle told Brad Cesmat Monday on “Big Guy on Sports.” “But he’s probably the first guy in the gym, even on back-to-back games. While the young guy are [on the sideline] tying their shoes or talking, Steve’s out their getting extra jumpers and making sure he’s getting his work in rather it’s in the weight room or conditioning.”

The Suns, who are not currently a playoff team, have asked Nash to assume an even bigger role with less talent around him, while insisting they are not looking to deal him before the March 15 deadline.

“He makes everybody so much better around him,” Majerle explained to Cesmat. “We really don’t have a go-to scorer down the stretch now where we could throw it into Amare [Stoudemire]. It’s uncanny how he can go down and have so much attention on him from other teams and still shoot over fifty percent and forty percent from the three-point line.”

Suns assistant Dan Majerle on ‘Big Guy on Sports’

Since joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone as the only four players in NBA history to have achieved All-Star selections at 38 or older, many have wondered just how long Nash can continue to play and most importantly, play well.

“That’s a hard question to answer,” Majerle said. “In this league and as you get older, your body’s going to leave you sooner or later, but Steve is so good at taking care of himself…at this level, if he continues to play like this, he can play as long as he wants.”