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Friday, April 18, 2014

Lakers' Steve Nash hopes to play next season


By on 4/18/2014 07:00:00 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers signed Steve Nash prior to the 2012-2013 season in hopes to team up with Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard to make a run at an NBA championship. The Lakers won 45 games and were a seventh seed in the playoffs. Nash was limited to 50 games, but showed signs of his old self, averaging 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. But this season was a nightmare to both Nash and the Lakers. As a team, the Lakers won 27 games, sixth worst in the NBA. Nash was injured most of the season and appeared in only 15 games. But Nash, even at age 40, says he hopes to play next season

 Matias Agustin Garcia via Wikimedia Commons

As reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, Nash met with general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Mike D'Antoni on Thursday. He wants to finish out the final year of his contract following a season in which he struggled with back, hamstring and knee issues. Despite all his problems, no doctor gave Nash any indication that it was time to retire.
"No, which is reassuring. I don't know it's a big threat [to life after basketball]. If I don't have to match 22-year-olds up and down the court, jump on an airplane between every game, I think I could fare quite well at the local pickup game. As far as like playing with my kids, and being active after my career,  I don't think that's in jeopardy."
Nash expects the Lakers to retain him and hopes to contribute both on the floor and as a mentor to the young guards.  He did show flashes of his old self, but the difficulty he's faced is being able to stay healthy game-to-game.
"Regardless, I want to contribute.  I would love to play 82 games next year. Whether I play or don't play, I'd love to be here for the young guys and be a sounding board. My situation is just a lot of mileage, and you have a whole bunch of bulging disks. I'm not even sure the doc knows exactly why it's presenting the way it is."
Nash averaged 6.8 points on just 38.3 percent shooting from the floor and 5.7 assists per game.  The 18-year veteran out of Santa Clara has played for the Suns, Mavericks and Lakers and has career averages of 14.3 points and 8.5 assists per game.

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