Los Angeles Lakers announce point guard Steve Nash is out for the season

October 23, 2014

The Los Angeles Lakers have announced in a press release issued today that point guard Steve Nash will miss the entire 2014-2015 NBA season due to a recurring back injury.  Nash, 40, has had a history of health problems since arriving via a trade to Los Angeles, and this latest episode might officially end the career of one of the top point guards in league history.

After consultations with Lakers medical staff, both Nash and the organization believe it is best to focus on rest and rehabilitation at this time.

“Being on the court this season has been my top priority and it is disappointing to not be able to do that right now,” said Nash. “I work very hard to stay healthy and unfortunately my recent setback makes performing at full capacity difficult. I will continue to support my team during this period of rest, and will focus on my long-term health.”

In hindsight, the Lakers deal for Nash has been an unmitigated disaster on many levels.

First, the team gave up two first-round and two second-round picks in order to get him, hindering the franchise's ability to add young talent for the future.  Second, his contract this season counted over $9 million towards the salary cap, and thus, limited the team's ability to pursue elite free agents.  Third, Nash himself provided very little production on the court because he was often out of the lineup.  Finally, his presence sparked the Lakers into hiring his former coach Mike D'Antoni, causing a negative chain reaction of events that eventually pushed away Phil Jackson for good and alienated Dwight Howard.

Still, Nash proved to be a stand-up guy in the locker room and at least made a determined effort to try to get back on the court.  Occasionally, he even provided fans with a glimpse of his former All-Star self.

“As disappointed as we are for ourselves and our fans, we’re even more disappointed for Steve,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We know how hard he’s worked the last two years to try to get his body right for the rigors of the NBA, and how badly he wants to play, but unfortunately he simply hasn’t been able to get there up to this point in time. Steve has been a consummate professional, and we greatly appreciate his efforts.”

With Nash out of the equation, point guards Ronnie Price and rookie Jordan Clarkson both are now locks to make the roster, if they weren't penciled in already.  Moreover, Jeremy Lin will likely become the starter at the point as well.

In his two seasons with the Lakers, Nash played in only 65 games.  Things started off poorly almost immediately, as Nash broke his leg in just his second game with the team in a freak collision against the Blazers.  From that game onward, he was never quite the same.

The fact that Nash re-injured his back this time off the court while carrying his bags, only further demonstrates just how fragile his body had become at this stage of his career.

But what a career it has been.

Assuming Nash retires at the end of the year, the two-time MVP will go down as one of the NBA's best at his position, especially at the offensive end.

A superior pure shooter, and an ambidextrous ball handler and passer, Nash excelled at running the pick-and-roll, and became a virtual offense unto himself during his heyday with the Phoenix Suns.

Unfortunately, despite teaming up in LA with Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Kobe Bryant, Nash could not cap it all off with the title that he craved.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com

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