We all kind of thought it might come to this, didn’t we?
Personally I still want to see Steve Nash get back on the court and play his way — holding the dribble, working in curving “S” patterns, seeing the play develop and making the right play at precisely the right moment. I want to see one of the best, hardest working, most entertaining players of his generation leave the game on his terms.
But his body just will not let him.
Nash didn’t practice Wednesday after another setback with his back/leg/nerve issue, and he is not expected to play in the next couple Lakers preseason games (Thursday then Sunday). Most concerning is this setback came from something pretty minor according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
New Lakers coach Byron Scott is veteran friendly, he wanted to start Nash and have Jeremy Lin come off the bench, but his hand is being forced. Lin has been out with a sprained ankle but is expected to return to the Lakers rotation for this Sunday’s preseason game. Who knows when Nash will be able to go.
The Lakers publicly are not anointing Lin the starter when the season tips off Oct. 28 against the Rockets, but you know Scott understands where this is headed. Check out his quote from practice Tuesday.
“I have no doubt in my mind that if I went to Steve and said tomorrow, ‘You know what, I’m going to start Jeremy and the games that you’re available, we’re going to bring you off the bench,’ he’s such a professional that I don’t think it would be a problem whatsoever,” Scott said.
Lin can start, the question is can Nash even be healthy enough to be a backup? Nash has yet to even speak to the media in LA about this latest setback.
The Lakers kept Nash on the roster this year rather than use the stretch provision to release him and lessen the pain financially (he will make $9.7 million this season) not because of what he might bring on the court but rather to bite the bullet now on his price now so they have more financial freedom going forward. Some Lakers fans have grand plans of being able to use Nash’s contract in a trade to get something of value, but if you think that you haven’t paid attention to the league trade patterns the last few years. Teams are not taking on big expiring deals much anymore.
I still just hope we get to see some vintage Steve Nash at points this season. That guy was a joy to watch.