We all know how post-game interviews with athletes are supposed to go. As the veteran catcher Crash Davis instructs rookie fire-baller Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham, “Learn your clichés. They’re your friends. Write this down: ‘We got to play ’em one day at a time.’ “
“That’s pretty boring,” Nuke says.
“Of course, it’s boring. That’s the point.”
Then there’s Steve Nash, the Phoenix Suns’ All-Star point guard. After last night’s 107-88 rout of Portland in game five of their play-off series, this is how Nash explained the Suns overcoming a 14-point deficit in the first quarter:
“They were making everything so it made it feel like we were running uphill, but I just felt like we had to think of this thing as long-term and think of it as the stock market. We’re not day traders, we want to be very conservative and long-term in our investment in transition. You’ve got to stick with it from the start to finish.”
Read that again. Has any athlete in the history of the NBA–in the history of sports–ever offered such cogent basketball and investment strategy in the same breath? Well, other than Charles Schwab, much to the annoyance of his eighth-grade teammates.
If you read our recent cover story on Nash, you shouldn’t be surprised. He’s not your average baller. In addition to running the NBA’s highest scoring and most improvisational offense, Nash has a hand in a dozen businesses, from video production to social media, and non-profits. The online video shorts he makes throughout the season often spoof our notions of big-time athletes. (In a video purportedly asking for All-Star votes, he strung together his most embarrassing flubs on the court.)
So of course, Nash took the unconventional path last night, not simply to be provocative but to make a smart point about knowing yourself as a team–and as an investor. Although the Suns were trailing early, they were playing to their strength, the run-and-gun transition style that earned them the league’s fifth best record during the regular season. The odds were in their favor, if they could avoid panicking and abandoning their game (read: investment) plan. Portland, which prefers a more deliberate pace, eventually cooled off, and the Suns prevailed.
“We’re not day traders, we want to be very conservative and long-term.”
Warren Buffett couldn’t have put it better himself.
[Thanks to FC reader Darren Brandt for sharing Nash’s quote before I had my ESPN fix today.]