Steve Nash was on the ‘All The Smoke’ podcast last year, explaining to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson what it felt like to play against Michael Jordan.
The 2020 Covid shutdown spurred a lot of talk on the GOAT debate, especially with the release of The Last Dance. People got to talking about the dominance of MJ in more earnest than ever. Podcasts, interviews and social media were all abuzz with His Airness and his work with the Bulls.
Steve Nash, who was a consultant with the Warriors at the time, was also called into action regarding the same debate: who is the GOAT? Nash gave the answer in no uncertain terms:
“Playing against him, the one thing that I think that he was unlike any other player I’ve played against is that there was a real fear playing against him. I’ve never seen the League be kind of fearful of a player or have that much reverence for a player, with all due respect to LeBron James.”
“No matter who has come since then… That was a different feeling when you’re playing Mike. There was such a seriousness, a competitiveness and fire in him. And there was a fear of how that was going to manifest itself potentially on any given night.”
“I’ve never seen the League be kind of fearful of a player or have that much reverence for a player.”
– Steve Nash on Michael Jordan putting the fear of God into his opponents. pic.twitter.com/5doh58OLSw
— Hoops Nostalgia (@HoopsNostalgia) January 28, 2021
How did Steve Nash fare against Michael Jordan?
Nash faced off against MJ 4 times during the latter’s tenure with the Bulls. As a rookie and in his sophomore year, the 2-time MVP was mostly a bit-part player at the time.
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His Suns teams had a 1-3 record to the Bulls, with their only win coming at the start of the 1997-98 season when the Bulls were missing Scottie Pippen.
Overall, there isn’t much that Nash could have done in those years. He did, however, have a much larger role as an All Star for the Dallas Mavericks in 2002 and 2003. But unfortunately, Michael Jordan was a long way removed from his peak play – a grand old man who retired for a final time after turning 40.