Darius Garland could be the next Steve Nash
Steve Nash was one of the most prolific point guards of the early 21st century. A two-time NBA MVP, Captain Canada brought the Phoenix Suns to prominence in his prime. He spent 10 total seasons with the Suns, six with the Dallas Mavericks, and two with the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of his career.
Putting Nash into the modern NBA would look nearly identical in playstyle to Darius Garland. Nash played best alongside a dominant big. In Dallas, Nash played with a young Dirk Nowitzki, and together the duo rose to stardom as two Hall of Fame talents.
In Phoenix, Steve Nash helped Amar’e Stoudamire build himself into a six-time All-Star. Stoudamire’s interior scoring talent and defense fit perfectly next to Nash’s ability to dissect any defense with his crafty ball handling and genius playmaking.
The duo made a name for themselves as a dynamic two-man threat. Nash’s innate inside-out scoring forced defenders to gravitate toward him as Stoudamire rolled to the basket. The two could make any defensive scheme look foolish, and Nash could make any of his teammates better in Phoenix’s system.
Darius Garland and Evan Mobley can build upon what Nash and Stoudamire founded. They have already developed a lethal pick-and-roll game with each other, and taking a page out of the Suns’ playbook can unlock the next level to their greatness in Cleveland.
If Garland can learn from Nash with Mobley, then both players could have an astronomically successful career together with the Cavaliers, building an unforgettable legacy in the NBA.
Nash made everybody around him better, becoming a true floor general. Garland, similarly, shines best when he makes other people shine. It is no coincidence that adding an athletic running mate such as Mobley played a crucial role in Garland’s growth.
Players such as Nash and Garland are one in the same. They perform best by leading their teammates by selfless action on the court.
In his 18-year career, Nash averaged 14.3 points and 8.5 assists. Nash only shot an average of 10.6 field goal attempts per contest and only 3.2 3-point attempts.
Steve Nash was not only a terrific passer. He could score at will, but he was selfless to a fault. His scoring was incredibly efficient, but he passed first and with little thought for his own box score. Since then, Nash has suggested a bit of remorse for not utilizing his scoring and shooting talent more often.
Garland, on the other hand, is a willing scorer as well. By diving deeper into his current upside, Darius Garland as a modern Steve Nash can maximize his play in order to lead Evan Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers to their greatest possible heights.
Each of these NBA legends has something to teach Darius Garland, but Garland’s future is his own. He has already shown similarities to numerous great players, and his growth will shape his own legacy for the history books.