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3 Important Career Lessons from NBA Legend Steve Nash


One of the NBA’s most acclaimed and tenured players announced his retirement this past week. Nash had a respected and decorated career in the NBA, but it didn’t come without its fair share of adversity. We’ll take a look at a few ways Nash’s hard-earned success can be applied off the court and inspire professionals to be MVPs in their careers.

Career Lessons from Steve Nash

(Photo Credit: Lakers Nation)

At a press conference earlier this week, Steve Nash announced that he will be retiring from his 19-season-long career in the NBA and bidding his team, the Los Angeles Lakers, farewell. Although Nash will be ending his career as a professional basketball player, he wants his legacy to live on and inspire others to follow in his footsteps and never give up on their dreams. Here are three valuable takeaways from Steve Nash’s career that professionals can apply to their own lives and pave successful career paths.

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1. There’s no “I” in “team.”

“I simply want people to remember me as a competitor and a great teammate […] those are the two most important things,” Nash declares. In the professional world, being a team player is key to not just the company’s success, but an individual’s success as well. Think about all the times you’ve had to work in a team setting, either in school or in your career, there was always one member who broke up the cohesion of the team. Whether that individual was an egotistical “leader” or a lazy bum, his/her selfish ways destroyed the dynamic of the team and made it difficult to complete the project successfully. Being a great teammate is just as important in the game of basketball as it is in the game of life.

2. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Don’t let adversity or the “what ifs” keep you from going after what you want in life wholeheartedly, because like mom always said, “Nothing good ever came easy.” Therefore, don’t expect success to just fall into your lap one day, get out there and get your hands dirty. Well-earned success is much more rewarding and lasting than something being handed to you undeservingly.

It’s easy to complain about how life isn’t fair and whine about everyone else’s success, but nothing will change your circumstances unless you do it yourself. Nash went out there and followed his dreams to become an NBA legend, despite the many setbacks he faced early on in his career. He took some huge risks, but he took every shot, and look how that turned out for him: “two MVP awards, finished as the most accurate free throw shooter in league history and tallied the third most assists of all time,” reports ESPN. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Nash was also an eight-time NBA All-Star, but who’s counting?

3. Practice makes perfect and hard work pays off.

A combination of hard work, determination, and practice is what makes anything in life possible, and Nash’s life exemplifies that fact. In his retirement announcement, Nash explains, “That’s what makes my story interesting. I had one scholarship offer. I was never a sure thing. I had to overcome a lot to get to the level I got to. There were a lot of ingredients, but the key ingredient was hard work. My story is something that kids can learn from and relate to. It feels good to be able leave that behind as my story.” Kids and adults alike can learn a thing or two from Nash’s tenacious and selfless attitude that he maintained throughout his admirable career as a professional basketball player. This must be one of the many reasons why he is revered as one of the greatest players and people the NBA has had the privilege to sign.

It’s time to suit up, ambitious workers, because it’s go time. 

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Leah Arnold-Smeets
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