Veteran point guards jumping straight into head coaching positions has become a hot trend as of late, with Jason Kidd taking the Nets job last season and Derek Fisher signing up for the gig with the Knicks under the tutelage of Phil Jackson this summer.
Steve Nash has one year remaining on his contract with the Lakers, and has been very honest about his reasons for wanting to try to play next season, despite his recent lingering health issues. But when his playing days are finished, might he have a similar interest in pursuing a career in coaching?
“Not really,” Nash said Monday, on a conference call with reporters to promote his annual charity soccer game, which will take place in New York on Wednesday. “I’m not necessarily interested in coaching at this point in my life. I would never say never, but it’s not on my radar right now.”
Nash plans to play in the event, which could be viewed as a positive sign as far as his health is concerned after dealing with consistent nerve irritation that followed the leg fracture he suffered early in the 2013 season. But given the off and on nature of how it has affected him, he’s taking a more cautious approach.
“I feel great right now,” Nash said. “I’ve been able to be without limitations as far as my training. I’ve tried to obviously not overdo it so I can allow that nerve to settle down perhaps, or be less irritated. And it seems to have worked so far, but I would hate to say, oh yeah, this is what it’ll be like once I join the rigors of the NBA schedule. But I’m doing everything I possibly can to prepare to succeed in that environment.”
As for the game itself, it’s being held for the seventh straight year, with proceeds benefiting Educare and child abuse research and prevention. Past events have included NBA stars like Joakim Noah, Tony Parker, Chris Bosh and Klay Thompson, along with international and MLS soccer pros like Thierry Henry.
“I think what’s cool about the event is that for the soccer players it’s fun to meet the basketball players, and for the basketball players it’s fun to play soccer with soccer players,” Nash said. “There’s kind of a unique motivation for guys to get involved, and everyone who comes and plays has a blast because it’s a small environment right in the middle of Manhattan. It’s not only a great atmosphere, but also a unique experience for both soccer and basketball players.”