The return of Steve Nash keeps getting delayed with more back problems being reported, which means that the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t quite sure when he’s actually going to play for the first time since early November, while some are even suggesting a retirement isn’t that far fetched to consider.
Nash has been out with a back problem since November 10. The Lakers didn’t use him too much early in the season, giving him time to rest in two games, but he didn’t give them much either: 6.7 points, 4.8 assists while shooting 26.7% from the field on 22.5 minutes a night.
Things actually started looking better for them with Steve Blake running the point, but soon he got injured too. The Lakers are mostly pleased with Kendall Marshall, but it’s not helping them win any games.
Nash is practicing, but tweaked his back in practice which means now he might be possible for a return on Friday, but it’s hard to say with an injury that’s been kept under tight wraps and the Lakers aren’t revealing too much about. The obvious thing? Nash played in only 50 games last season and 6 this year; Considering he’ll be turning 40 in two weeks, there might not be much of a career left for him to come back to.
It doesn’t really matter to the Lakers this season, even though they’re paying him $9.3 million this year. Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar are coming back as well, possibly sooner than him, and Marshall is doing well as we mentioned. It’s going to be interesting to see if he keeps his starting spot which will mean the Lakers are counting on him to be their point guard in the future as well, or are they going for someone completely different next season if D’Antoni benches him at the sign of the veterans returning. We haven’t even gotten around to Kobe Bryant who is still out and is under a mysterious return timeline, just like Nash.
Is Nash going to play basketball again? The Lakers pay him $9.7 million next season, which is way too much for a fringe player, which is what Nash at this stage of his career. Considering how bad he’s been this season and not that influential on the floor last year as well, watching him pack it up and not try and battle these recurring back injuries might be the best thing for the Lakers and possibly even Nash, who is slightly hurting his legacy with these post-Suns years.