It’s well known that basketball superstar Steve Nash is from a soccer family. In fact, he actually spends more time playing the latter than the former in the offseason, taking the field for two men’s league teams in New York City, where he spends each summer while the NBA is off duty. That’s just one of the many intriguing observations gained by the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay when he spent some time with Nash this month.
“Soccer, not basketball, is Nash’s passion during his New York repose: Born in South Africa before moving to Canada, Nash was raised a Tottenham Hotspur fan, and today owns a piece of the MLS’s Vancouver Whitecaps,” writes Gay. “Next Wednesday, Nash hosts his annual soccer ‘ Showdown’ event at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side, featuring Nash’s soccer and NBA friends. Past participants have included Baron Davis, Chris Bosh, Thierry Henry and Giuseppe Rossi.”
The 38-year-old point guard has been watching much of the European Championships and says that an ever-increasing number of his NBA colleagues are asking him about soccer, a sign of its growing cultural influence in the United States. Nash is nearing the end of his 17-year pro hoops career, but he looks likely to keep loving — and playing — the beautiful game for years to come.