Nash wins Canadian athlete of year in landslide

Updated: December 28, 2005, 10:36 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Steve Nash put the Maple Leaf on James Naismith's game this year.

Steve Nash

Nash, the Phoenix Suns guard and the NBA's MVP, was honored Tuesday as Canada's male athlete of the year by The Canadian Press, winning in a landslide vote. Nash also won the award in 2002.

"If my career has somehow inspired or gained interest in kids across the country, that would be unbelievable to have that sort of impact,'' Nash said from Phoenix. "I think a lot of it is intangible, so I really just try to keep going, and keep trying to improve and enjoy this opportunity I have. I know it won't last forever.''

Nash finished with 366 points and 102 first-place votes in balloting of sports editors and broadcasters across the hockey-mad country. Pittsburgh Penguins phenom Sidney Crosby collected 163 points and 14 first-place votes while the Pittsburgh Pirates' Jason Bay was third with 92 points and five first-place votes.

An exquisite passer with supreme command of the floor, Nash led the Suns' remarkable turnaround and became the first Canadian to be noted the NBA's most valuable player. The Suns went from a 29-53 record to a league-best 62-20.

Nash was born in South Africa, grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, and starred in college at Santa Clara. The California school was the only in the U.S. that offered him a scholarship.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press