At the Steve Nash Charity Soccer game in New York City, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors may have made a case for a new soccer statistic: blocked shots. The 6’10” forward has averaged 1.2 blocks per game in six seasons in the NBA, but he easily surpassed that mark on Tuesday, and he did it with his head. Accidentally. And repeatedly. Forget 1.2 a game! Bosh blocked at least four shots that came off the feet of international soccer stars like Thierry Henry and Adrian Mutu.
When he wasn’t keeping the ball out of the net, Bosh also introduced a new soccer term—let’s call it “boshing.” As in, “Did you see that blooper? He just boshed!” While he had some heady play, Bosh also whiffed at just about every ball that came near his size-thirteen feet, and he did it gleefully. His attitude matched the spirit of the game. The day was all about having fun and entertaining the fans. (Click on the video above to see highlights from the event.)
Nash, a two-time MVP with the Phoenix Suns, first organized the game last year as a partnership with the Football for Good Foundation. This year he also teamed up with U.S. soccer player Claudio Reyna to raise funds for their two organizations, the Steve Nash Foundation and the Claudio Reyna Foundation, both of which benefit children in need. Nash and Reyna called upon close friends—teammates and opponents—to take to the turf for their causes in the second annual “Showdown in Chinatown.” Check out our Q&A with Steve Nash to learn more about his Foundation and how you can get involved.
The wet conditions on Wednesday had Suns forward Grant Hill and his beat-up ankles playing cautiously, but Nash and Spurs point guard Tony Parker both looked at home on the pitch. Parker actually recorded a hat trick, and Nash made an attempt at a bicycle kick that probably had Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry and GM Steve Kerr gasping in horror. But he got up unharmed and proved that he has serious soccer skills. He told SIKIDS.com that he wouldn’t rule out playing professional soccer when he retires from the NBA.
The soccer stars, of course, put on a show for the New York crowd. Edgar Davids of the Netherlands roused the fans with fancy footwork and speed, and he, Nash, and fellow Dutchman Ryan Babel of Liverpool created the offense for the white team. For the blue team, Inter Milan defenders Ivan Cordoba and Javier Zannetti anchored the back line while Romania’s Mutu and Salomon Kalou of the Ivory Coast turned up the heat offensively.
For New York fans, though, this event wasn’t all about soccer. There were plenty of calls for both Nash and Bosh to come play for the Knicks. Nash didn’t necessarily rule out the idea, although the game was played the night before the Shaquille O’Neal trade was announced.
“I never thought about that,” he told reporters, “but obviously I live in the city and I love [Coach Mike D’Antoni]. So it would definitely be an exciting option for me.”
Bosh let his play do the talking. Late in the game, he sent a point-blank, open-net shot about six feet to the right. But not all was lost. He had already scored earlier on…for the other team. What a bosh!