Suns Interim Head Coach Jay Triano and Suns Legend Steve Nash have shared over two decades of friendship together and it all began in 1994.
Triano was coaching at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Nash was currently attending high school at St. Michaels University School three hours away.
“I went to recruit him and told him not come and play for me, to aim higher,” Triano said.
Nash was only being recruited by one American university, Santa Clara, and although Triano wanted him, he knew that Santa Clara would be the better option for the young point guard.
“The funny thing is we got stuck at the ferry terminal when I was trying to take him home and I couldn’t leave him there,” Triano said. “So we had three hours to spend just talking to each other and getting to know each other. I learned how driven he was.”
It took until the end of the wait for Nash to finally come to his decision for his future.
“By the time he got out of the car he said ‘I’m not going to come and play for you, but I will play for you one day because you told me your goal was to coach the Canadian National Team and my goal is to play for the Canadian National Team.,” Triano said.
Fast-forward six years and those goals were accomplished.
“We walked into the Olympics in year 2000 with arms around each other and we said we’re going to do this,” Triano said. “Our relationship from that point on has always been very, very positive and very good.”
In 2012, Nash became the General Manager of the Canadian National Team, but would only do it if he could bring Triano back to coach.
“I had been let go from the Canadian team prior to that,” Triano said. “I was like this is going to be tough to do, but I did it. With the new leadership that he provided, I felt really comfortable back in the role.”
When Triano was named the Suns Interim Head Coach earlier this week, Nash made sure to reach out to his old friend.
“He’s really excited for me and excited for the organization because he still has a lot of feelings for the people around here,” Triano said.