2003 NBA All-Star 2003 NBA All-Star

Steve speaks out

Mavericks' star voices opposition to war in Iraq

Posted: Friday February 07, 2003 5:43 PM
Updated: Friday February 07, 2003 10:19 PM
  Steve Nash Steve Nash had more than basketball on his mind Friday. Glenn James/NBAE/
Getty Images

By John Hollinger,

ATLANTA -- NBA All-Star Game media days are usually filled with pithy quotes and clichés, but Dallas Mavericks guard Steve Nash veered wildly off the standard course Friday by using the occasion to speak out against war in Iraq.

Wearing a T-shirt that said "No war -- Shoot for peace," the Canadian celebrated his 29th birthday by making his position perfectly clear.

"I believe that us going to war would be a mistake," he said. "Being a humanitarian, I think that war is wrong in 99.9 percent of all cases. I think it has much more to do with oil or some sort of distraction, because I don't feel as though we should be worrying about Iraq."

Nash said he felt that U.N. weapons inspectors should be allowed to complete their mission before any further action is taken, and that the United States in particular had provided insufficient evidence to warrant an attack.

"I think that Saddam Hussein is a crazy dictator and in some ways a scary person, but I don't think he's threatening us at this point in time," he said. "We haven't found any nuclear weapons -- no matter what anyone says -- and that process is still under way. Until that's finished and decided I don't think that war is acceptable."

He also blamed the media for beating the war drum. "I think a lot of what we hear in the news is misleading and flat-out false, so I think it's important for us to think deeper and find out what is really going on."

Nash did allow that he's still learning more about the situation in Iraq, and he encouraged others to do the same. "I'm still trying to educate myself ... and I think people should should just go out and try to educate themselves and learn so they can make an informed decision."

He then reiterated his position that "unfortunately, this is more about oil than it is about nuclear weapons."

Playing in his second consecutive All-Star Game, Nash is best known for his wild mane of hair and frenetic on-court style. He is averaging 17.8 points and 6.9 assists for the Mavericks, who lead the NBA with a 38-10 record at the All-Star break.

Related information
All-Star Pickoff
Marty Burns: Dusting off All-Star Weekend
Handicapping the dunk contest
Suns' rookie Stoudemire looks to rise highest in dunk contest
All-Star Notebook: Yao draws a crowd
Visit Video Plus for the latest audio and video