NBA: 30 greatest playmakers in NBA history

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks
(Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

18. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns/Dallas Mavericks

Point guard Steve Nash had the ball on a string during his time in the NBA. His ability to change speed and evade defenders turned into quite the career for him on one of the best teams in Phoenix Suns’ history.

Nash played 18 seasons in the league. No matter where he went, he made an impact as the primary playmaker on the floor. He led the NBA in assists per game five times and won back-to-back MVP awards during his second tenure with the Suns.

He won the first MVP award of his career during the 2004-05 season, averaging 15.5 points, 11.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. Phoenix went 62-20 that year, finishing first in the Western Conference.

Nash dished 10 assists or more in 59 games during the regular season, as the Suns made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals the season before falling to the San Antonio Spurs, 4-1.

His second MVP award came the following season, as he produced 18.8 points, 10.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game, as the Suns went 54-28. He distributed 10 or more assists in 46 contests this time around. Phoenix would go on to lose again in the 2006 Western Conference Finals to the Dallas Mavericks, though, his former team.

As it stands, Nash is third all-time in league history in total assists (10,335) and ninth all-time in assists per game (9.5). He made everyone around him better. It showed in the win column until the postseason arrived.