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Steve Nash

NBA All-Star weekend highlights Canada's growing hoops love

When Greg Anthony arrived in Vancouver to join the inaugural Grizzlies team in 1995, the cash in his pocket wasn't the only currency that he needed to exchange.

Anthony was a star in college at mighty UNLV and went to the NBA to play for the Knicks, who took a back seat to nobody in New York during those playoff days.

In hockey-mad Canada, it was another story. There was no star treatment for hoop stars and no real understanding of the game. Local and national publications had to run basic tutorials that explained the rules of the basketball to fans.

"I don't want to say it was humbling, but to a certain degree it was. To go there where it was kind of a...