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Art Garcia

Steve Nash's appearance with Regis Philbin on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" will air Aug. 20 on ABC.
Courtesy photo

Stint on Entourage just part of Nash's whirlwind summer

By Art Garcia,
Posted Aug 17 2009 4:57PM

Steve Nash happened to have his own Turtle growing up in Victoria, B.C. His name is Small Balls.

The exploits of Nash's entourage would make for some good TV, so when the hip Canadian did a turn on the hit HBO series, it made sense. Even if the nerves caught up with Nash.

Kevin Connelly, a.k.a Eric on Entourage, eased the two-time MVP through the cameo shot back in May that aired in Sunday night's new episode. Nash relayed the scene like you'd expect any media-aware celeb would -- on Facebook. (The entry was too long for Twitter.)

A snippet from Steve's entry: "I mean, to make fool of yourself on Entourage is social suicide. I'm sure my wife will still love me but she may not want to be seen with me in public. Fortunately he did make me feel more comfortable. That's good leadership, Kevin."

The Emmy nomination will likely wait. Still, the day spent in Hollywood is just another entry in Nash's ridiculous "What I did during summer vacation" essay. The rundown is insane. Start with his charitable causes, work in a few TV gigs, launch a few new social/business ventures while somehow not losing sight on why we all follow this guy to begin with ... his basketball career.

Throw in two beautiful kids, a knockout Paraguayan wife, residences around the continent and the prerequisite globe-trotting that comes with being the Vinny Chase of the NBA. It just isn't fair for the rest of us who can't figure out why 'E' dumped Sloan.

Here's a taste of Nash's life since the Suns' season ended shy of the Playoffs, not counting his spin on premium cable. Don't think he's done. Training camp doesn't start for another six weeks.

• Co-hosted a free charity soccer match in Manhattan -- Showdown in Chinatown -- in June benefitting his and Claudio Reyna's foundations. Among the NBAers on hand: Tony Parker, Chris Bosh and Grant Hill. It rained hard and the park was still packed with fans.

• Stint as a roving reporter for David Letterman down in Orlando during The Finals and stopped by the Ed Sullivan Theater the following night to chat with Dave. The piece was a fastbreak of dry wit and self-deprecation. Worth it for Jeff Van Gundy interview alone.

• Found time to agree on a two-year extension for $22 million with Phoenix that doesn't kick in until after this season. He's 35 now. Wasn't he supposed to break down about four years ago, Mark Cuban?

• Taped a celebrity episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire that airs later this month on ABC for the show's 10th anniversary. Watch for Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, Rachael Ray and, of course, Regis Philbin. Nash took the hot seat hoping to answer a single question worth $50,000 for his foundation.

• Opened up a second Steve Nash Sports Club in British Columbia and helped launch a sports social networking site, The heath club not only follows Steve's training principles, it's also green. The site is designed to help athletes at any level with advice and resources needed to succeed.

• Working on a documentary of Canadian running legend and idol Terry Fox for ESPN. Nash and his cousin Ezra Holland run a production company, Meathawk, that's shooting the project. They've also done a couple of spots for Nike.

And there's the on-going projects. Steve Nash Youth Basketball, another grassroots initiative for kids, continues throughout his native Canada. The Steve Nash Foundation, formed in 2001, has focused on a cause that clearly hits home with an athlete that's unusually socially-and-environmentally aware. He plays in recycled sneakers.

"We work for children -- underserved kids, from newborns to high school students," Nash said earlier this summer. "We just want to provide opportunities for causes that mean a lot to us. We're fairly random in what we gravitate towards, but we want to help people. Help in education in all sorts of different ways that we can help kids that are underserved and in their quality of life."

His love of soccer extends beyond a stake in the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, which begins MLS play in 2011 and counts his brother Martin as a member, and another charity match in Vancouver next month. Nash has also partnered in developing Football for Good, an organization building non-profit European-quality soccer academies for kids in war-torn regions. They're working on a youth center in Uganda.

"We're going to give them the opportunity to train like a talented kid in Europe would to see if they can become a professional soccer player, but also educate them, teach them the characteristics that it takes to be a pro, shelter them from violence [and] give them healthcare," Nash added.

Drama couldn't have said it any better.

If you have a question or comment for Art Garcia, send him an email.

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