Dallas' Steve Nash is known for being one of the quickest players in the NBA. So where did he get his fleet feet? They might stem from his soccer roots. Not only was Nash an accomplished footballer as a youngster, but he comes from a family of soccer players -- Steve's father John played professionally in South Africa and England, his brother Martin plays professionally for the Dallas Sidekicks, and his sister Joann is captain of the University of Victoria soccer team. NBA.com caught up with Nash to talk about out how his soccer roots, which, combined with his long hair and darting drives, effectively complete his "soccer style."
How did soccer influence your game?
Nash: "Well, I grew up playing soccer,so it taught me a lot about just being an athlete and a sportsman. And it probably helped my coordination tremendously."
How are the two similar?
Nash: "The spaces and angles can be similar at times. In soccer, like in basketball, you like to penetrate and draw the defenders to open up space for your teammates. It's very similar."
What were your strengths as a soccer player?
Nash: "For me, dribbling and passing more than goal-scoring would probably have been my strengths."
What about your brother?
Nash: "He is in Dallas playing indoor soccer. He is going to Vancouver to play there for the summer. He continues to make a living playing soccer and he's doing well. We played together growing up, but we're very different. He is a great goal-scorer when he was a kid and I was more of a playmaker."
Who influenced your basketball style?
Nash: "My favorite player was Isiah Thomas. I don't know if I am anything like him but he was my favorite and I looked up to him."
Do you and Dirk have a special connection because of soccer?
Nash: "Not really because he is not a big soccer fan. But he likes it and knows enough about it so that we can talk about it."
There's a saying in soccer that the left wingers and goalies are all nuts. Can this be translated into basketball?
Nash: "There's not enough positions -- I think everyone is crazy in basketball!"
How long did it take you to get used to your teammates in Dallas?
Nash: "Well, this year it has taken some time because we have a very new team. But for me, Mike and Dirk, we've known each other for years now and couldn't be more used to each other."