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Mavs Pre-Season 13 Days Away – A Look Back At Steve Nash

Leading up to the start of pre-season, we will be looking at past and current players to wear the jersey number that corresponds with how many days remain until tip-off. We are now 13 days away Mavs fans, and who else can really represent that number other than the one and only Steve Nash.

Steve Nash came over to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998.  He was traded from the Suns to the Mavericks in exchange for Bubba Wells, Martin Muursepp, the rights to Pat Garrity, and a first-round draft pick. Boy, did that turn out well for the Dallas Mavericks. It was a franchise desperately trying to climb their way out of the basement and turn themselves into perennial contenders. His 1st season was riddled by an ankle injury that sidelined him for some games, but he still showed a glimpse of what exactly he could do on the court, which was score and make his teammates better.

What really turned this partnership between Steve Nash and the Dallas Mavericks into a success story was the surroundings in which Nash would eventually thrive. His partner in crime Dirk Nowitzki was beginning to find his game on the main land, while Michael Finley continued to play at a very high level. These three guys would eventually become the “Big Three” in Dallas, and combined with new billionaire owner Mark Cuban,  it would prove to be the right anecdote to turn this bottom feeder into an elite franchise.

In 2001, the Mavericks showed just how far they had come. Nash averaged 15 points and 7 assists per game and helped Nowitzki, Finley, and the newly acquired Juwan Howard reach the post-season for the first time since they lost in 3 games to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1990. The Mavericks would eventually come up short against the San Antonio Spurs, but even the Spurs would admit that this was a franchise that would have to be dealt with for many years down the road.

The “Big Three” continue to entertain Mavs fans night in and night out. Nash’s ability to be a scoring threat on any night opened up opportunities for Nowitzki and Finley as well. Not only was Nash a huge threat shooting the rock, but he was uncanny when distributing it to his teammates. They were put on national television all the time, because they were entertaining. Nash could do things with the ball that would amaze, all while putting his team in a position to win.

Following his 2001 season, Nash would post career highs in points and assists, en route to his first ever All-Star appearance. The Mavericks would post 57 wins that season, but eventually fall short to the Sacramento Kings. One thing Mark Cuban and the upper management knew was they had great base, and just needed to find the right pieces. The 2002-2003 season would bring on even greater success, as Nash and the Mavericks would eventually reach the Western Conference Finals, where they took on their in state rival, the San Antonio Spurs. It would be a tough battle, and one that would end short for the Mavericks.

Nash entered his 6th and final season with the Mavericks in 2003. He averaged a lower points per game total(14.5) than in any previous season with the Mavericks. The Mavs would once again fall short to the Sacramento Kings in the playoffs. Once the season ended, management had to assess the situation and direction of the franchise, and decide whether they would pay Nash his well deserved free agent money. NashCuban24While Cuban felt like he was offering enough money, Nash signed a 6-year, $65 million contract with the Phoenix Suns.

Nash would go on to win 2 Most Valuable Player awards  with the Phoenix Suns and appear in 7 more All-Star games. He is still well liked throughout Dallas and was an integral part in the Mavericks franchise turnaround.

Ryan Wilson founded Mavs Fanatic (Now Dallas Sports Fanatic) in January of 2012. He had a vision of starting something new and different. A place where fans of the Dallas Mavericks and fans of writing could come and be heard. A blog "Run By Fans For Fans". He is also a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago WhiteSox (His hometown team). Mavs Fanatic is now known as Dallas Sports Fanatic, a blog that covers all of the major Dallas pro sports teams.    

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