Looking at the list of players, you'd never guess a guy who didn't average double-figures in scoring until his fifth season in the league could find himself in that company.
But this season Steve Nash joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Tim Duncan, Karl Malone and Bob Pettit as the only multiple winners of the MVP trophy in NBA history.
By doing so, Nash redefined our image of what a Most Valuable Player can be. In a profession where one's physique is the foundation for their craft, Nash's presence isn't worth a second glance. In a climate where rookies become franchise players, Nash began his career with a whimper rather than a bang. In a league where many players are products of urban street courts and sprawling gymnasiums, Nash grew up on the soccer fields and in the hockey rinks of Canada – where suffice to say, basketball wasn't the most popular sport.
"Never ever did I have that dream (of winning an MVP)," Nash said about his days as a youngster. "I mean, I dreamed of playing in the All-Star game, but I don't know that I really convinced myself of that possibility until I got in the NBA, and wanted to strive for more and more.
"It's incredible -- I think that's what makes me feel uncomfortable in some ways," he continued. "Victoria B.C. is a long way from the NBA let alone the MVP. Sometimes I look back at how far I've come, and it is strange, because I felt like I was in a different world growing up."
Nash should know different starting points often breed greatness. They force you to uncover new ways of getting to the same destination. Like finishing around the rim. Can you remember seeing the game's Most Valuable Player ever performing the sport's staple play – the dunk?
Instead, Nash developed a repertoire of trick layups. And he couldn't always blow by his man, so he studied the game and became a vocal leader. He couldn't always light up the scoreboard, so he learned to lean on his teammates
That's why Steve Nash has two MVP honors on his trophy shelf. That's why he's the HANNspree Innovative Player of the Month for June.