Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash has been hobbled all season by back problems, but the 39-year-old is not contemplating retirement despite previous reports to the contrary. He doesn’t know whether he’ll ever be an effective NBA player again but he isn’t ready to head into his post-playing career yet.
Nash has been sidelined since November 10 when pain in his back flared up. He says the pain has improved thanks to physical therapy, and he also received an epidural injection. The pain is being caused by a pinched nerve root in his spine, which can be incredibly painful.
On Friday, Nash was asked if he was considering retirement after 18 NBA seasons. He had the following response:
“No, not at all. I don’t know where that came from. For me, I realize I have about 18 months left of basketball and I want the most out of this that I can possibly get and I don’t know if that’s going to be one game or the vast majority of what’s left, but I have a long life without basketball, so I don’t want to give in too soon.
“I want to try to make the most of this opportunity to play if I can.”
Nash could potentially start practicing after the Lakers return from their current three-game road trip late next week. But he also said he doesn’t want to rush back only to re-injure himself. So he’ll take his time and make sure he’s ready.
Nash will turn 40 in February and it has been really sad watching a guy who has been so durable break down ever since he arrived in Los Angeles last season. He’s a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer and has nothing to prove to anyone.
Hopefully we’ll see him back healthy sometime soon so he can get a proper send-off.
Without Nash or Kobe Bryant, the Lakers defeated Golden State 102-95 Friday night.