Steve Nash: Prime Minister in waiting

Let me just come out and say it: Steve Nash is Prime Minister material.

Last week, Canadians went to the polls and gave current Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party a majority government. And while we look to the future and wonder what the next four years will look like, some will speculate who the next Prime Minister will be.

My guess: The starting point guard for the Phoenix Suns.

I know this seems slightly crazy. But take a look at Nash’s career. The man has enough experience and credibility to fulfill the role of Canada’s top politician.

For starters, he’s the definition of a diplomat.

Nash has traveled around the world. Of course, playing in the NCAA and NBA allows him to visit several places in North America. His international playing career has taken him further. Nash has played several exhibition, Olympic and FIBA matches in countries such as Australia, Puerto Rico, China, England, Spain and Germany.

All this extensive traveling makes Nash an ideal ambassador. Experiencing different cultures allows him to better understand the world. This will certainly help Canada on the international stage. Perhaps it’s his position on the court, but Nash has the ability to bring individuals together to meet one goal. So if anyone can unite nations, it’s him.

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Second, Nash is incredibly charitable.

He’s been involved with a number of organizations including the Steve Nash Foundation, which helps children in Phoenix and his home province of British Columbia. In addition, Nash sponsors a youth basketball league named after him in BC; and as noted by Charles Barkley in a 2006 issue of Time Magazine, he once paid for a new pediatric cardiology ward in a Paraguayan hospital. Nash also supports GuluWalk, a Canadian charity that helps children affected by war in Northern Uganda.

This line of work shows Nash’s desire to help people. All politicians want to help people or – pardon the appropriate cynicism – say they want to help people. Nash is above that.

He recognizes that life should not be taken for granted and if you’re in a position of power, it is important to help those who are not as fortunate. That’s leadership and compassion.

Finally, Nash is not afraid to step out of his comfort zone.

He’s not only fixated on playing basketball. Nash is part-owner of Major League Soccer’sVancouver Whitecaps (a sport he has as much love for as basketball) and has invested inWomen’s Professional Soccer, a top level league in the United States.

But that’s not all.

Nash has his endorsements and is also involved in filmmaking. His most noted project was co-directing Into The Wind, a documentary about Terry Fox that was part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. Don’t forget about The Sixty Million Dollar Man either.

Good leaders can deal with change. Exceptional leaders embrace change and look for new opportunities to grow physically and mentally. But I don’t need to tell you Nash is exceptional.

Look at what he’s done on the court: two-time NBA MVP, seven-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, two-time West Coast Conference player of the year, Lou Marsh winner (Canadian Athlete of the Year), three-time Lionel Conacher winner (Canadian Male Athlete of the Year), Member of the Order of British Columbia and Order of Canada.

Steve Nash works for his success and achieves it. He’s a team player and gives back. He was meant to serve the public. He was meant to be Prime Minister.

It’s unclear if politics awaits Nash after he retires from professional basketball. Last year, Barry Friedman of the Phoenix New Times broke the story of Nash retiring to run for political office in Victoria, his hometown. The article turned out to be a practical joke and was denied by the Suns’ front office.

However, it did prompt Nash to tell reporters “Obviously, I’ll be Prime Minster one day.”

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