The general manager of the Canadian Men’s National Basketball team spoke with Sport TV during a Canada/Slovenia exhibition game last week and confirmed what many fans have assumed for the past 3 years, this season will be his last.
After a 19-year career in the NBA, that included 8 All-Star appearances and 2 MVP awards, Steve Nash may be ready to retire after this season.
“I think this is my last season… I’m going to hopefully spend many many years living this life without basketball so it would be nice to play one more year.”
Nash joined the Lakers in the summer of 2012 on a 3-year deal after spending the previous 8 seasons as a member of the Phoenix Suns. His arrival, along with Dwight Howard’s, was supposed to help catapult the next era of Laker greatness, but as we all know, things did not go as planned.
In only his second regular season game as a Laker, Nash suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left leg after bumping into Portland’s Damian Lillard. The fracture would later cause nerve root damage and sideline him for most of the next 2 seasons; he would only play 15 games in the 2013-2014 campaign.
With his health in question, the Lakers were faced with the decision to keep Nash for the last year of his contract or waive him under the stretch provision. Waiving Nash would allow the Lakers to stretch the remaining $9.7 million owed to him over the next 3 seasons. Doing that would give them a little more spending power now, but would limit potential cap space in the upcoming years. However, after newly acquired point guard Jeremy Lin gushed at the opportunity to play with and learn from Nash, the Lakers decided to honor the remainder of Nash’s contract.
Nash will likely serve as a mentor to Lin and rookie Jordan Clarkson this season and, if health permits, play back-up point guard minutes for the rebuilding Lakers. On the current state of the Lakers, Nash said,
“Sometimes you have to go down to come back up. Right now the Lakers are down and it takes time. I don’t know if we’re going to have a chance this year or not. But obviously in the future, they’ll be back where they have been many times.”
If this is indeed Steve’s last season in the NBA, he has definitely had a storied career. Nash has career averages of 14.3 points, 8.5 assists and holds the record for the 3rd most assists in NBA history trailing only Jason Kidd and John Stockton.