The NBA is a global game, with the league inspiring many from the furthest corners of the Earth to pick up a basketball and dream to play with the biggest basketball stars on the planet. However, international players were still a considerable minority in the league, but that began to change. As the popularity of the NBA surged worldwide during the 1990s, the same decade brought about several international players that would become all-time greats. These players also played their roles to show young kids around the world that they too could succeed in the NBA, no matter where they’re from.
What is the 8th most iconic jersey of all time? SLAM Magazine’s list of the “Top 75 Greatest Basketball Jerseys of All Time” list identifies the Steve Nash 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey as the 8th most iconic jersey of all time. The basis of the list comes from the historic sales of Mitchell & Ness, a jersey reproduction manufacturer, who found this jersey to be their 8th best-selling jersey of all time. The jersey has a black base with a purple and orange “Sunburst” logo. The “Suns” lettering and numbers are white, and have small 3D orange shadows.
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Why is Steve Nash iconic?
Steve Nash was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the 1996 NBA Draft with not much fanfare. His first two seasons with the Suns were spent mostly on the bench, which led him to be traded to the Dallas Mavericks. There, Nash grew into the league, and the British-Canadian formed an outstanding duo with fellow German international Dirk Nowitzki. Free agency saw Nash return to the Suns and turned the franchise around completely, turning the Suns into a serious playoff contender which saw him earn back-to-back MVP awards. At the tail end of his career, Nash joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the hopes of a championship, but increasing injuries limited his contribution and saw him retire just before the 2014-2015 season. In his career, Nash averaged 14.3 points per game and 8.5 assists per game, as well as 49% field goal percentage and 90.4% from the free-throw line.
Nash was the ultimate floor general, having mastered the offensive fundamentals of the game. He was an elite passer and an incredibly efficient shooter from everywhere; the three-point line, the free-throw line, and just about anywhere in the half-court. He won 2 MVP awards, and had 7 All-NBA selections and 8 All-Star Game selections. He often led the league in assists and is the franchise assists leader for the Phoenix Suns. Nash is regarded as one of the best point guards of all time, and will surely go down as one of the most iconic international players the NBA has seen.
Why is the 1996-1997 Steve Nash Phoenix Suns road jersey iconic?
Steve Nash was selected with the 15th pick by the Suns during the 1996 NBA Draft. He was not a well-known player coming out of college, and fans were certainly upset with the decision. The Suns were also quite deep in the guard positions, as they were known for playing small-ball. Nash was the fourth or fifth option off of the bench, and averaged 10.5 minutes per game only. He averaged only 3.3 points per game and 2.1 assists per game; however, he did pose a strong 41.8% 3-point field goal percentage. Flashes of his potential were apparent, although he was more of a shooting outlet before he became the floor general during his second stint with the Suns.
Why is the 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey iconic?
The 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey features a black base with the “sunburst” logo. This logo features an orange basketball bursting diagonally upwards, and an orange burst with purple streaks. Above the “sunburst” logo is the “Sun’s” lettering in white with thin orange 3d shadows; the same applies to the numbers which are below the “sunburst” logo. The collar and armpit trim are purple and orange.
The 1996-1997 season featured a lot of upheaval for the Phoenix Suns, who traded superstar Charles Barkley in the offseason. Free agent signings, trades, coaching changes, and injuries all overshadowed a mediocre season for the Suns, who were clearly in a transition. The Suns finished with a 40-42 record and managed to sneak into the playoffs, where they lost to the Seattle Supersonics. Despite the general chaos of the season, the Suns still managed relatively well.
Which other notable players wore the 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey?
The 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns roster was full of well-known veterans, current stars, rising stars, and strong rotational players, many who fans will recognize. Players who had worn the 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey include Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson, Robert Horry, Cedric Ceballos, A.C Green, Rex Chapman, Danny Manning, Wesley Person, John “Hot Rod” Williams, Michael Finley, and Sam Cassell.
Who manufactured the 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey?
The 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey was made by Champion; both the on-court version (“authentic”) and the fan version (“replica”). Mitchell and Ness also make reproductions of the 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey.
Are there other iconic Steve Nash jerseys?
According to SLAM Magazine’s “The Greatest Jerseys of All Time” list, no other Steve Nash jerseys are iconic.
Are there other iconic Phoenix Suns jerseys?
The Phoenix Suns do not have any other entries in SLAM Magazine’s list.
The Phoenix Suns had a quite mediocre 1996-1997 season, and Nash’s rookie season wasn’t anything to get extremely excited for either. So, why is Nash’s 1996-1997 jersey so iconic? Some would point to the retro “sunburst” logo on the jerseys which stuck with fans years later, which is certainly valid. But another reason that the jersey has become iconic is because of Nash himself. He clearly didn’t have an immediate impact with the Suns at first, and after he was traded to the Mavericks, who thought it likely that he would come back? But he did, and as a different and much better player, and turned the franchise around almost immediately. On top of that, as an international player, Nash’s rise to greatness has had a major impact on people, and the game of basketball itself, all around the globe. It’s likely for that reason that people look back fondly on the Steve Nash 1996-1997 Phoenix Suns road jersey