"The traffic on Taylor Way is unbelievable. They're lined up to see Steve Nash. They've come from all over the Lower Mainland...for him. The Lion's Gate Bridge is crazy. It's going to be bedlam around Canada Place."
We stood by our cars in the three-minute-only passenger drop off que at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. I watched my two sons and their friend walk toward the ticket booth as they headed onto the ferry to meet their father in Nanaimo. The tall man with a thick shock of salt and pepper hair beside me said his children would appear any moment. They'd traveled from Nanaimo to join him for the Steve Nash Game.
It's funny how when you aren't a sports fan, you don't have a clue about what sports fans cherish. This sports fan had a great deal of sympathy for me, though. "I know how you feel," he said, as the children walked away. "They're good kids," he said.
You could tell that they were. They stuck together. They looked back and waved. And they'd both given me big hugs before leaving.
But I couldn't understand him, not in the same way. His heart was with his kids, even as it was passionately yearning for Canada Place. For Steve.
"I want to see Steve Nash," he said, emphatically. "No amount of traffic can keep me away."
When I went home, I would look Steve up on Wikipedia, and here's what I'd find: He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa to a Welsh mother and an English father on 7 February, 1974. His family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, when he was 18 months old, then to Vancouver, before finally settling in Victoria, British Columbia. Although Nash played soccer and ice hockey, he did not start playing basketball until he was 12 or 13.
In eighth grade, Steve apparently told his mother that one day he would play in the NBA and become a star.
My eighth grader disappeared into the crowd as he entered the ferry terminal, his little brother following closely behind.
I remained there staring into the space they'd vacated as if they'd rematerialize and listened to the basektball dad talk about Steve Nash.
He was a superstar. From Vancouver! Deft on his feet. Magical.
Suddenly I realized I'd gotten so involved in the Steve Nash story that I'd failed to notice I was free to go, unless I was waiting for his kids now. I wasn't, of course, so, I said good-bye and headed home, while thousands of Vancouverites headed for Steve Nash.