Steve Nash celebrated his 40th birthday last Friday, but it’s been a brutal week so far for the eight-time All-Star.
On Tuesday, the Lakers guard was forced to leave his second straight game due to nerve root irritation after playing just 16 minutes, and he likely won’t be back until after the All-Star break.
"I think I need a little more time to get over the hump," Nash told the Los Angeles Times after the team’s 96-79 loss against the Jazz.
Even worse, Tuesday’s loss marked Nash’s 10th game of the season, which means if he opts for medical retirement, his contract remains intact for one year after his last game played. Had he played less than 10 games, his salary would come off the books a year after the final game played last season, which would have given Lakers some much-needed freedom of spending this summer.
Steve Nash on his injury: "It's just an irritation, a flare up." Same thing as Sunday. He doesn't expect to play tomorrow vs. OKC.
Earlier this week, Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily news reported that Nash has informed friends that he’ll call it quits after this season, despite having one year left on his contract.
But as for this season, Nash isn’t ready to throw in the towel yet.
"I work as hard as I can everyday to perform and keep going until I’m not playing anymore," Nash told Mark Medina of the LA Daily News. "But right now, I have no intentions to stop playing."
I’m pretty concerned. I know he’s dealing with a lot of pain.
-- Steve Blake on Nash's injury status
Coach Mike D’Antoni echoed those sentiments, saying the decision ultimately falls on Nash.
"It’s too early for him," D’Antoni said in regards to a possible retirement. "He’ll have to decide that. He’ll feel it in his heart and his head. I’m sure he’s getting good advice. Right now we’re trying to get to the next game and play well."