I’m hearing Nash’s pain is forcing him 2 seriously consider calling it a career. He’d still get $ this yr & next & LA’d get cap relief next— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) November 19, 2013
Nash, a two-time MVP with the Phoenix Suns, has struggled with chronic back issues and is averaging only 6.7 points and 4.8 assists through six games this season, a steep drop-off from his career highs of 18.8 points (2005-2006) and 11.6 assists per game (2006-2007).
The 39-year-old, who is the oldest player in the league, missed 32 of the Lakers’ 82 games last season, and was plagued with various ailments, including a broken left leg and injuries to his back, hip and hamstrings.
If he is forced to retired due to medical reasons, Nash will receive the balance of his $9.3 million annual salary this season and the $9.7 million that would be owed to Nash next season would not count against the Lakers’ cap, according to Sports Illustrated.
Nash’s most recent game was a 113-90 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 10., where he played just 13 minutes and finished with two points and three assists. He is not scheduled to be back on court for a least another week with nerve root irritation in his back.
“I’m a little emotional,” Nash said after game (via Associated Press.) “It’s hard. I really want to play, and I really want to play the way I’m accustomed to playing. To be so limited is frustrating, and also to not know [when] kind of a clean-ish bill of health is (possible) is a little daunting, too.”
The Lakers, however, have good news in regards to Kobe Bryant, who participated in his second full workout Tuesday.
Bryant, a 15-time all-star, is not sure when he’ll play his next game, but was grateful to be back on court.
“It’s always a much greater appreciation for it,” Bryant said (via the Associated Press.) “You understand the mortality that comes with being on that doorstep. There’s always a sense of enjoyment when you come back….Put the jersey on, you walk out in practice, and felt like it was ‘97 again and I was getting my first start as a pro.”
The fourth-leading scorer in NBA history, who has not played in a game since tearing his Achilles tendon against the Golden State Warriors in April, will be a welcomed sight for the 5-7 Lakers.
“I’ll be ready to play soon,” Bryant said in his appearance on “The View,” which is scheduled to air Thursday. “Not sure exactly when, but the date is coming up pretty quickly. I feel great. I’m running just fine. I’m practicing just fine.”