Suns Notebook: Nash Receives Order of Canada
By Jerry Brown
Dec. 29, 2007
Dec. 29, 2007
Another day, another honor for Steve Nash – but this one is pretty special.
On Thursday, Nash was named one of the 2007 recipients of The Order of Canada – the country’s highest civilian honor. He was selected not just for his fame, but for his many humanitarian efforts through his Steve Nash Foundation and the Canadian school system
Other recipients included Walter Gretzky, father of Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, and United Nations human rights commissioner and former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour.
“None of my friends got it when I was growing up, so I didn’t know much about it,” Nash said with a smile. “I’m just blown away and just extremely excited. It’s the highest honor in our country and it’s just incredible to be recognized in that way. That puts me in some incredible company.”
Now 23rd on the all-time NBA list for assists (6,260), Nash’s 10 assists on Friday gives him 3,341 as a Phoenix Sun. That passes Walter Davis for third place on the alltime Phoenix franchise list. Only Alvan Adams (4,012) and franchise leader Kevin Johnson (6,518) have more helpers in a Suns uniform.
A STITCH IN TIME
Grant Hill took six stitches in his chin after the game, courtesy of an elbow from Corey Maggette of the Clippers.
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As soon as Hill left the training room with his stitch job, Nash went in to have the stitches he took in Dallas removed. “I guess I won’t be shaving for a while,” Hill said.
After taking 59 3-pointers in his first 23 games as a Sun, Hill had taken only two in the past six games — missing both — entering Friday.
Coach Mike D’Antoni said Hill has gone back to “doing what comes most natural” in driving to the basket with the ball and racing toward it without the ball on fast breaks. But Hill said another reason is that after proving the shot is within his range (35 percent), defenders are running at him and opening paths to the basket.
“Especially on the corner three, teams are coming after it, which was surprising to have happen already,” Hill said. “But if they do that, I’m going to drive. It’s great for me because I’m a slasher by nature. I’m not trying to shoot less, I’m just taking what’s there.”
But Friday, the Clippers clogged the middle trying to slow down Amaré Stoudemire and Hill was left at the 3-point line. He made only one of his four attempts, but was 7-for-9 inside the arc and still reached the 20-point mark for the third time in the last six games, scoring 22 points to go along with eight assists and three blocks.
Another game, another tough night for Raja Bell. After going 1-for-6 in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Thursday, Bell went 1-for-7 on Friday, missed all five of his 3-point shots and fouled out after 30 minutes — the first Sun to foul out all season.
After getting his third foul on a ticky-tack call in the second quarter, Bell turned to the bench and yelled, “Just take me out.” He then walked back to the bench on his own.
Bell and Leandro Barbosa were a combined 1-for-10 from 3-point range. The Suns were 5-for-20 as a team, and only Shawn Marion made more than one (2-for-4).
The Suns are 10-0 this season when Stoudemire (28 points, 10 rebounds) records a double-double. ...
The Suns are the first team in the Western Conference to reach 21 wins this season, and the third in the NBA behind Boston (24-3) and Detroit (22-7). After 30 games, this team owns the seventh-best start in the 40-year history of the Suns. The other six teams averaged 60 wins for the season. ...
Now that Hill is averaging 16 points per game (16.1), the Suns have five players averaging 16 points or more (Stoudemire, Nash, Marion, Barbosa and Hill). They would be only the second team in NBA history to manage that feat, matching the 1957-58 Boston Celtics.
COPYRIGHT 2007, EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Used with permission.