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My Top 3 Best Backcourt Ballers Ever!
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My Top 3 Best Backcourt Ballers Ever!

Steve Nash

Back to the future. Nash was overlooked by virtually every DI basketball program until Santa Clara came knocking. The too short, too slow white kid from Canada only destroyed bigger and more athletic guards in his junior and senior seasons with the Broncos with passing wizardry, uncanny court vision, and deceptive speed. All these special attributes took the kid from B.C. basketball backwaters to the 1996 NBA Draft in New Jersey and a First Round selection, 15th overall, to the Phoenix Suns.

With mentors Kevin Johnson and Jason Kidd, Nash patiently crafted skill and will into 2 consecutive NBA MVP nods in 2005 and 2006 – only the 11th player in NBA history to accomplish the feat. Today, at age 38, Nash is showing no signs of slowing down and is at the top of many statistical categories for point guards while competing against much younger, and, some say, faster and more talented players – sound familiar?

My hope for Nash is that he, if only he wants, finds himself on a contender for the ring. But you have to marvel at his loyalty to the Suns.

Jeremy Lin

Into the future. Jeremy Lin? Notice the question isn’t “Who’s Jeremy Lin?” That secret was pancaked when Lin masterfully commandeered successive wins in spectacular fashion with the Knicks in early 2011. An All-State player in his senior year in California, Lin also was named player of the year by the San Jose Mercury-News and San Francisco Chronicle. With no interest from DI programs, Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, a former stand-out guard with Duke, liked what he saw in Lin and got him into a Crimson uniform. Bouncing between D-League and Pro with both Golden State and Houston, New York must have been Lin’s biggest prayer answered when they picked him up due to backcourt injuries. The rest of the story as they say is history.

Lin’s NBA story can be long if several pieces fall into place. If he can remain a consistent contributor, even from the bench, it will be an opportunity to strengthen weaknesses in his game. If he can avoid the D-League, even by becoming a bench-player, Lin can at least gain respect and credibility from his peers by being a ‘regular’ on the big squad. In other words, by being able to keep an NBA jersey on, his presence will be his greatest present to himself.

Skeptics will point to flaws like his current assist to turnover ratio - horrible to date, or, Lin’s defensive shortcomings. Sounds like the same Steve Nash issues by so-called pundits when Nash was turning over the rock a whole bunch and not the quickest defender. It will take tremendous commitment and determination for Lin to have staying power in the Association but if his past is any indication, getting rejection and overcoming odds, may be just the motivation he’s accustomed to, to make the naysayers go away.

Quin Snyder

Future looks Brighter. From Mercer Island, Washington, Snyder was a stand-out McDonald’s All American in his senior year and went on to play for Duke university. Snyder joined a who’s who of elite point guards to play for the Blue Devils including Johnny Dawkins, Tommy Amaker, and Bobby Hurley.

Snyder is a player I had the pleasure of seeing play in person when his Mercer Island squad played an out of conference, out of State, pre-season game in our town. This visit made daily news because Mercer’s team had 2 starters in top poll rankings, Snyder being one of them while still only a freshman guard! Snyder’s team destroyed the tourney and I’ll never forget seeing this skinny freshman pull off a behind the back dribble, spin move around help defence, to a between the legs crossover, left hand layup for two points. Unbelievable was, and still is, all I could say!

After completing a Law degree and an MBA, Snyder met with success and some turmoil at Missouri, then followed up with coaching in D-League, and now a recent hire with the Los Angeles Lakers. I always appreciated his intensity and fire as a player and coach, and even though he never played pro, the kid with the Lakers via Washington State and Mercer Island and Duke university, will always be my kinda guard!

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