Lessons in Community from…Phoenix?

On Saturday night $teve Ca$h and the Phoenix Suns were ousted from the playoffs in game six, after a hard fought and competitive series with the LA Lakers. $teve, who if you haven’t already guessed by the mildly humorous dollar sign usage – is what the kids call “cash money”, renewed his contract in 2009 with Phoenix a relatively small NBA market.

Many speculated the $teve would test the free agent waters and sign with a New York or Cleveland where he would lay the foundation for a big market championship run. Na$h now reaching the twilight of his career, surprisingly opted to stay with his Phoenix franchise despite the long-shot odds of the Phoenix Suns making a championship run.

Why? Community. In 2009, after extending his contract Na$h stated:

“I really love Phoenix, being a part of this community and the fans have been fantastic for me… Obviously, you want to win a championship but chasing that can be really fleeting and it’s a much more stable and challenging outlook to be a part of group that you really love and enjoy. All of those things greatly outweigh the search for a title somewhere else.”

After Saturday’s elimination loss $teve echoed those comments, referring to community as the catalyst to make the “whole greater than the sum of its parts”. And the Phoenix Suns achieved that this season. Pre-season odds had them fighting for just a taste of the first round of the playoffs, instead the Suns finished with a 54-28 record, 3rd overall in the Western Conference.

How did $teve build such a community of overachieving high-performance? While there isn’t a single reason, lets start with being a model for teamwork.

$teve Ca$h is a leader who generates an atmosphere of friendly collegiality and is a model of respect, helpfulness, and generosity to the greater good. This energy draws others into active, enthusiastic commitment to the collective effort, and builds spirit and identity. This community identity is an incredible motivator in the face of challenge and adversity. Knowing that everyone around you is in support of each other and in support your well-being is the foundation of trust that every great community is built on. As community builds there comes an understanding that the relationships you forge beyond the simple task obligations, and ties are cemented into family bonds. It is these ties that fuel individuals to push beyond their perceived limits for the good of the whole.  These bonds are what $teve placed ahead of million dollar raises and championship chances in 2009.

“All the clichés really are true” $teve said. “You can be greater the sum of your parts”.

2 thoughts on “Lessons in Community from…Phoenix?

  1. Nice one, Jord. I recognize that photo. One of the most impressive things Steve has recently done was with the “Los Suns” campaign to raise awareness for the Hispanic community that stands to become, well, second-class-citizens should the new immigration laws be passed in Arizona. There’s just something special about Reverend Al Sharpton walking down the main street in Phoenix wearing a Steve Nash Number 13 “Los Suns” jersey that makes you proud to be Canadian and, let’s face it, a human being.

    He’s good people. And so are you.

    John

  2. Ya, I mean, you could write an entire Communi-thropic Audit on Steve. The Steve Nash Foundation, Steve Nash Youth Basketball… he even has a environmental campaign going with the Phoenix energy provider. He really has used sport as a tool for positive social change. Thankfully, a lot of pro athletes are really starting to embrace that power.

    Also a lot of parallels to Steve being a model of team work and with the Gumboot. Which, in a twisted, flattering way would make you sir, Steve Nash (?)… no, sorry Steve Nash’s mom.

    Keep up the community vision Mrs. Nash!

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