Steve Nash has had a rough first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time NBA MVP has missed 32 games due to various injuries throughout the year and at 39 years old his body may simply be breaking down. But Nash insists he’s not even close to considering retirement.
The Santa Clara product just wrapped up his 17th NBA regular season, but he insists he felt great when he was actually on the court this year.
He said the following when asked if he was thinking about retirement:
“Not even close. When I was healthy this year, I felt really good. I think still, for the amount of opportunities I got on this team, I think still I was just as efficient as I’ve always been.”
In 50 regular season games this season, Nash averaged 12.7 points, 6.7 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game. Those numbers aren’t bad when you consider how he was dealing with nagging injuries throughout the year.
Despite currently struggling with lingering hip and hamstring injuries, Nash plans to play in Game 2 of the Lakers’ first round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs. He struggled mightily in the series opener, hitting just six of 15 shots from the field (for 16 points) and tallying three assists.
Nash is set to earn $19 million over the next two seasons, but the Lakers could release him next summer and spread the $9.7 he is scheduled to make during the 2014-15 season over the following three seasons. That would loosen the team’s cap number for the 2014-15.
That said, if Nash can come back healthy next season I doubt the Lakers will release him. Especially if Mike D’Antoni is still the team’s head coach.