The bad back that has plagued Steve Nash his entire career has knocked him out for the entire season before it even begins, the Lakers announced Thursday night. Nash suffered the latest re-aggravation—I shit you not—while carrying some luggage.
The Lakers mortgaged much of their future to acquire Nash in 2012, agreeing to a sign-and-trade with Phoenix that saw them ship off two first-round and two second-round picks, and signing an aged Nash to a three-year, $27-million deal. He only played in 50 games that disastrous first season, when paired with Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Kobe Bryant, he was expected to help lead the Lakers to a championship. Instead, the Lakers got swept in the first round of the playoffs.
There was a lot of speculation that Nash would retire after he missed two months of action last season, but he ultimately returned and played in 15 games, six more games than the Lakers probably would've preferred. If he had played in nine games or fewer before a medical retirement, his 2014–15 salary would have come off the books early, giving the Lakers additional salary cap space this past offseason. But once he played that 10th game, that relief disappeared.
While it sadly seems likely that we won't ever see Steve Nash play in the NBA again, the statement made no mention of retirement. Back in July he intimated that this would be his last season, but just two weeks ago he left open the possibility of playing longer in an interview with Mark Medina. What factors would Nash consider when deciding what to do?
"My health, enjoyment and effectiveness," Nash said. "If I have a chance to play, it would have to be here. I'm not going to at this stage move somewhere else for a season and move my kids there."
So, Nash might be back next year with the Clippers or Lakers, but probably not.
Photo via Danny Moloshok/AP