The Los Angeles Lakers pulled the trigger on a sign-and-trade with the division rival Phoenix Suns last year in an attempt to give this team a much needed upgrade at the point guard position. Although Nash has flashes of his incredible playmaking ability from time to time, it appears that the writing is on the wall in terms of retirement being around the corner.
Before the Lakers were able to come out on top against Dwight Howard’s Houston Rockets on Thursday, Nash sat down with Ken Berger of CBS Sports to talk about where he’s at physically and if he’s considering retirement:
Q: Do you envision any set of circumstances that would cause you to say, ‘You know what? Next season is not going to happen? I’m not going to be able to be the player I want to be?’
A: I don’t think so. I’m already not the player I want to be and just [have] a different body. My body’s different. I’m still trying to adjust and adapt and get my body to accept a certain amount of the pounding and forces and be able to adjust my game and still be productive. I still feel like I’ve got a lot of life left without basketball so I’m going to try to enjoy it and make the most of these last 18-20 months, whatever it is.
With Nash clearly not the same player and currently not playing the second game of back-t0-backs, it may be a matter of time before he’s forced to the bench or dealt by the Lakers before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20. Nash has already been mentioned in a trade rumor involving Toronto Raptors, but many believe it will incredibly difficult to move his contract with $9.7 million set to be paid to Nash next season.
It comes as no surprise that Nash wouldn’t want to forego the $9.7 million owed to him next season. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table even though he’s clearly not worth it at this point in his career. Nash reiterated he has no intention to retire via Berger:
Q: So in your mind, retirement is not a word that you …
A: No. I’m not there yet. No.
Now the question is if Nash can bounce back and prove his worth to the team. Fortunately, the Lakers have Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar to help shoulder the load in the backcourt this season, but a healthy Nash playing at a high level once again would be a game-changer for this team.
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