The Golden State Warriors are only hours away from receiving their championship rings. For some, it will be their second, for some others their first — but the organization has wanted one particular member to have this ring, a ring that has escaped him despite an illustrious career.
Team president Bob Myers and the relentless vice president of communications, Raymond Ridder, made it clear to special consultant and former two-time MVP Steve Nash, that they’d want him as part of the ceremony — celebrating alongside the Warriors players and executives that have made this possible.
Yet Nash would firmly decline.
“This is their moment,” Nash said in a phone interview with Marc Stein of The New York Times. “I couldn’t be happier to be part of a championship team and, more importantly, this championship culture.”
“But when you’ve played 18 years in the NBA and you win it all as a consultant, it doesn’t feel right to do anything but stay in the background. I don’t want to disrespect anything or upset anyone, but I don’t feel like it’s my place to be there.”
Nash has been under a consultant capacity after retiring from the game in 2015, playing a role in helping players understand the ins and outs of the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop game, as well as various shooting and passing drills.
Head coach Steve Kerr agreed with Nash’s sentiment to take a step back and let the players enjoy the moment.
“I don’t think Steve, for one second, looks back on his career and thinks, ‘Oh, my God, I didn’t win a ring,’ ” said Kerr, who won five in his playing days as an off-the-bench contributor with the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs. “He has such great work-life balance. John Stockton’s the same. Charles Barkley’s the same. Is there any happier guy out there than Barkley? You can tell he’s having so much fun on TV.”
“I think fans and the media kind of overrate that whole ring thing. I would trade my career for Nash’s in a heartbeat. Would I want to be a role player on championship teams or be a superstar like Steve was and dominate games and seasons?”
Steve Nash has been happy where he’s at and he’s lived his post-playing career as he lived when he was on the hardwood — unselfishly.