In a recent interview with The Ringer, Steve Nash and Bill Simmons had a podcast where they discussed a lot of things but one of the most important topics was the lack of participation from NBA players on the World Cup that is currently taking place in China. The main explanation from players on why this is happening is that they are getting prepared for the upcoming season and don't wish to get hurt.
Steve Nash, who played in several tournaments for Canada thinks there are several reasons why competition like the World Cup or the Olympics are great for player development. Nash said that was one of the best playing experiences of his life which elevated his game to another level and that every player should have that experience in his career because of various benefits a they get during that time.
"I don't know how many but you want to say 10 or more NBA players not going to the World Cup. It's a generational thing. I went to the Olympics in 2000, and it springboarded my career. It was the best experience of my career and I think that next year I was a borderline All-Star with Dallas. It's great playing experience. "
Nash believes players don't care that much anymore about such tournaments if it's not the Olympics that have a much greater impact in comparison to the World Cup. On the other hand, there is also a notion that workout culture has taken over the NBA in recent years where players are mostly focused on working out with their trainers rather than actually play the game of basketball and experience real-life situations.
"First of all, culturally, these guys have so many options. It doesn't seem to mean as much anymore in this generation because you have so many options to represent your country. The World Cup is not the Olympics. You know, just societally, culturally. For me, I would like to see these guys play. And also this whole workout culture. You know, I don't know if it's we've taught guys the way is to have a great routine and to work really hard. But that is not manifested itself into this really rigid. I got my workout guy, I go to the gym, I do my drills, and that's good. "
Nash stressed out the importance of playing basketball in no matter what kind of format because that is the only way you can actually use the skillset you practiced in a game situation. The other important aspect Nash mentioned, which is probably bigger than basketball itself is representing your country in front of the whole world and actually taking the responsibility to make the right decision in the right time. This type of moment helps players in so many ways that can potentially boost their careers on another level.
"But that's one component. You should be playing one-on-one, three-on-three, five-on-five. And don't get me wrong. I love basketball, the new generation, all these young players, huge fan. Love it. But I do think this workout culture has gotten so far in one way it just lacks creativity and imagination now. How about getting a chance to play in a game that matters in the summertime. If I don't lock down and get a stop here my country loses."