Kind of ironic, isn’t it?
Credit for inventing the sport of basketball goes to Canadian James Naismith. The Basketball Hall of Fame is named after him, too.
And yet, just one Canadian – Vancouver-born Bob Houbreg – can lay claim to being a basketball Hall of Famer.
Barring some kind of anti-Canadian conspiracy, Steve Nash will become the second player from north of the border to make it in. The Victoria, BC native has been announced as an eligible candidate for 2018, as a list of 179 candidates was revealed on Thursday.
The list of first-time candidates is bigger than usual, as the Hall has reduced the waiting period from five years after retirement, to three. Nash, who is best remembered as a member of the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks, retired after two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014.
Other notable names eligible for induction next year include Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Chauncey Billups, and Richard Hamilton.
Nash’s list of accomplishments is lengthy. An eight-time All-Star one of just 12 players in NBA history to win the MVP award twice. With 10,335 career assists in 18 NBA seasons, Nash ranks third all-time in that category, behind only John Stockton and Kidd. Nash also ranks first all-time in free throw percentage (90.43%) and ninth in three-point field goal percentage (42.78%).
The 6-foot-3 point guard has a career-average of 14.3 points per game, with 8.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds.
Without a doubt the greatest basketball player Canada has ever produced, Nash represented his country at the 2000 Olympics.
Nash is currently the general manager of Canada’s national team. He’s also a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors, winning the championship that eluded him as a player earlier this year.
Finalists will be announced on February 17, during NBA All-Star Weekend, with the class of 2018 revealed during the NCAA Final Four. Enshrinement will take place in Springfield, Massachusetts in September.