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Steve Nash Gallery
January 1, 2011
The Phoenix Suns selected Steve Nash out of Santa Clara with the 15th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft.
Nash made his first visit to the Valley after the draft and signed his first NBA contract with then-Suns President Jerry Colangelo presiding.
While at Santa Clara, Nash became the first Bronco to be a two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year since former Suns forward Kurt Rambis.
Nash was on Cloud Nine over having attained his goal of playing in the NBA.
The '96 rookie class featured a wealth of talented guards, including Nash, Stephon Marbury and Allen Iverson.
Nash's hustle and playmaking abilities made him an instant fan favorite at America West Arena.
Phoenix fans also loved Steve's passion for the game, which was evident every night out.
Bulls legend Michael Jordan praised the Suns' rookie after their first-ever meeting.
Born in South Africa and having grown up in Victoria, British Columbia, Nash was a soccer and hockey fan, in addition to basketball.
The rookie point guard recieved instruction from Suns assistant Donnie Nelson. The two would be reunited in Dallas two years later.
Always a dead-on free throw shooter, Nash led the Suns shooting 80 percent from the charity stripe his second season in the Valley.
In his second season, Nash ranked 13th in the NBA in three-point accuracy (.415).
As intense as he is on the court, Steve can clown around with the best of them off the court.
Nash dished out 400 assists in his first two NBA seasons in Phoenix.
However, with veteran point guards Kevin Johnson and Jason Kidd on the roster, Nash often found himself cheering from the sidelines.
Still, Steve more than doubled his minutes on the court his second season, averaging 9.1 points in 76 games in 1997-98.
Never afraid to drive inside with the big boys, Nash works a pass around former Grizzlies center Bryant "Big Country" Reeves.
Nash began to show signs of the potential to be a top playmaker in year two, averaging 3.4 assists a night.
Working with Nash and his agent, the Suns dealt him to Dallas in the summer of 1998, giving the young playmaker a chance to shine.
Nash maintained his neatly groomed hair in Phoenix before letting his locks flow freely in Dallas.