Nash to miss matchup against his buddy Dirk

Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash were best buds when the two played together with the Mavericks.
After Nash left for other NBA pastures, including joining the Lakers this season, the two have remained friends. But friendship only goes so far between Western Conference rivals.

“I wished him the best when he signed with L.A.,” Nowitzki told The Dallas Morning News. “I said, ‘Have a great year and I hope you lose to the Mavs.’ But it didn’t happen.”

The Lakers lead the season series with the Mavericks, 2-1, but Tuesday’s final meeting in Los Angeles is a huge one in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Lakers are a half-game behind Utah, which currently holds the eighth playoff spot. The Mavericks are a 1.5 games behind the Lakers. The Lakers have eight games left, the Mavs have nine.

Nash won’t play in Tuesday’s game because of a strained right hamstring. No matter what happens the rest of the way, Nowitzki and Nash are sure to remain friends.

“Yeah, we do stay in touch,” Nowitzki said. “He came to my wedding last summer – had a blast there. We try to keep in touch as much as we can, but obviously, he’s got kids and family and stuff going on. So we don’t see each other as much anymore, like we used to, but we try to keep in touch.”

When they do get the together, the talk is rarely about basketball.

“We don’t really talk hoops much,” Nowitzki said, noting the one obvious exception of when Nash signed with the Lakers.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire