The news broke on 10/23 that due to an injury Steve Nash has officially been ruled out of the entire 2014-15 season. Unfortunately Steve Nash further damaged the root nerves in his back moving bags. Nash has yet to announce his retirement, but barring a minor miracle or miraculous victory over father time the injury will bring an end to Nash’s improbable and illustrious 18-year NBA career the included being named the league MVP twice. There is no doubt that Steve Nash is one of the best point guards in NBA history. ESPN ranked Nash as the ninth greatest point guard of all-time in 2006.
Nash is one of six players that won an NBA MVP award and did not win an NBA Title (Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant). Nash has led the NBA in assists and free –throw percentage several times throughout his career. Nash ranked as one of the top players in NBA league history by consistently shooting at least 50% from the field, 40% from the three-point arc, and 90% from the free throw line. Several Lakers and NBA fans have viewed Steve Nash tenure in Los Angeles as stealing money. At face value, the thought is not too far off base; the Lakers got 65 games from Nash for $27.9 million over three years.
Nash is on the books for $9.7 million for this season. However, if you view Nash’s arrival from a basketball standpoint the thought of him stealing money has to stop a risky move simply did not work out. After being unable to secure the services of Chris Paul, the Lakers went after and landed Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. At the time of the trade no one knew Nash would have major back issues and that Dwight Howard would be unable to raise his game up to a level to become a leader and do whatever it takes to win a championship. The Lakers are still in the basketball business and their last Championship was in 2010.
Several things have changed from then until now and no it is not all Kobe Bryant’s fault.
Looking back the new NBA collective bargaining agreement was signed in 2011 that literally changed the rules. In December 2011 then-NBA Commissioner David Stern vetoed a proposed three-team trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, Lamar Odom to the New Orleans Hornets and Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets. The prevailing thought was that the last action for David Stearn was to sign off on said deal. Although the league had acquired the Hornets from then owner George Shinn and the commissioner’s office had final authority over all management decisions.
David Stern, now wearing two hats (NBA Commissioner & NBA Owner), being influenced by several NBA small market owners; decided that the Hornets were better off keeping Chris Paul – for basketball reasons (Allegedly!). Had the deal gone through as planned the Lakers would still be one of the top teams in the Western Conference and a different team today.
That decision was the spark that started a chain reaction. Lamar Odom felt disrespected upon learning of the trade publicly and requesting a trade from the Lakers to another contending team. Mike Brown had replaced Phil Jackson and the Lakers no longer ran the triangle offense nor had a need for Odom to initiate the triangle offense. The Lakers traded Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round pick and an $8.9 million trade exception.
If this is the end, Steve Nash has accomplished so much in his improbable career. A career that started with Phoenix Suns fans booing in disapproval at the relatively unknown South African born, Canadian raised point guard out of the University of Santa Clara being selected 15th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft, two picks after Kobe Bryant. Bryant is now the
only active player from the 1996 NBA Draft.
Nash had an impressive college career and showed great potential, but did not play in one of the major college conferences. When you consider that during Nash’s first two years he was in a support role behind Kevin Johnson, Sam Cassell (both players with NBA Finals experience) and Jason Kidd the second overall pick in the 1994 draft you can understand Suns fans frustration.
Suns fans at the time had no idea that their team selected a player that would become one of the most unselfish players, best shooters and fiercest competitors in NBA history. Nash has the third most assists in NBA history with 10, 335. Nash has played in the most playoff games in NBA history without winning a ring. Nash is an amazing player, a class act known for putting on a show on the court on a nightly basis playing at a high level with style and grace .