Mavs' Nash talks soccer, his hair and his owner
Steve Nash doesn't worry about what you think.
The Dallas Mavericks' point guard refuses to style his hair (he doesn't even own a brush!), favors baggy jeans and oversize sweaters to Armani suits, and didn't get rattled when Dallas fans booed him during his first two NBA seasons.
"He just doesn't care what other people think of him," said his teammate and off-the-court buddy, Dirk Nowitzki. "He has his own style. It's the '70s style or the '80s style, or I don't what it is. He's just loose."
Raised in Victoria, British Columbia, Nash worshiped Wayne Gretzky, but he also is fascinated with soccer -- his father played professionally in South Africa and England.
A sore hamstring kept Nash out of the Mavericks' lineup for a Feb. 5 game with the Hawks, but he was healthy enough to play 10 Questions with CNNSI.com.
1. Do you feel that you are the leader of this team?
Being a leader is a role I've always had in my basketball career. To be a leader on this basketball team is pretty natural for me. Being the point guard, it is natural to have those leadership qualities. I think my teammates look to me for that.
2. What did it feel like to be booed by the Dallas fans?
It was kind of a tough situation, but at the same time I understood there would be a day when they would forget all about those times, and that day has sort of come already. It was just one of those things. I mean, this is just basketball. It is just a game; nothing is really that important. So it never really affected me.
3. What is your relationship with the Dallas fans now?
I knew there would come a time when they would be back in my corner. I know that they are the same fans who wanted to run me out of town, but I'm glad it happened. It gave me a great opportunity to face a little adversity and get through it.
4. Where is the better soccer played, South America or Europe?
Europe. There are just more teams, more players, more powerful countries. The leagues are deeper, and the Champions League is just better. Every league [in Europe] is better than its counterpart in South America.
5. Who would you rather have dinner with, Pele or Wayne Gretzky?
Gretzky. He's my hero. He is Michael Jordan to us Canadians. He really is, athletically speaking, on the same level as Michael Jordan. I can't say that about anybody else.
6. What's up with your hair?
I just don't care about it. My teammates know I don't care, so there's no point in them giving me crap about it. But is kind of funny, because it's a semi-mullet. It's pretty awful. I might go for a full mullet. I think it would be hilarious, so maybe.
7. Did your performance with the Canadian National Team in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney give your confidence a big boost?
It did. Really, though, the last half of last year, when I really got healthy, I started playing a lot better. So I pretty much had my confidence back by the Olympics. I was healthy by then. The two years I struggled, I wasn't healthy. I wasn't surprised by our team's success -- I thought we could go even further -- but I knew it would be a surprise to everyone else.
8. What brings you more satisfaction, a clever assist or a made 3-pointer?
Well, I always like to see my teammates to score, but everyone continues to push me to be more selfish and more aggressive and score. It's always been my nature to set up my teammates.
9. At this point, does Mark Cuban ever surprise you?
No, he doesn't surprise me. He's going to push the envelope in everything he does. He's a pioneer, a risk-taker. That's why he's been so successful -- because he is willing to take so many risks.
10. Was your buddy, Dirk Nowitzki, snubbed from the All-Star Team?
Yeah, he deserves to be there. But it is tough. I understand that it is a numbers game. There are a lot of other guys who deserved to be there, too.