When it comes to Steve Nash’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers, the numbers speak for themselves. Last year, in his first season with the team, Nash averaged 12.7 points (on 49.7 percent shooting) and seven assists over the course of 50 total games played. This year, 14 games into the season, he has played six total games. In those six games, he has averaged 6.7 points (on 27 percent shooting) and 4.8 assists.
And here is the most damning number of all: $20 million. That is what the Lakers are paying their 39-year-old floor general who never actually sees the floor.
When Nash first arrived in L.A., he was asked how difficult it would be for him to set aside the old rivalries that he has with the Lakers as a member of the Phoenix Suns. He said he would be able to do it. Oddly, it feels like he never did. Anchoring the franchise down with his awful contract feels like Nash exacting his final revenge.
Currently, Nash is out with an injury. He’s been out since Nov. 10 and has yet to announce a return date. For obvious reasons, rumors of him possibly retiring have begun to circulate. Not only would it put him out of his misery, it would also save the Lakers some cap space. Or at least it would have.
The problem is: Nash has no intention of retiring.
This past Friday, he was asked point blank by the Los Angeles Times whether he was planning on calling quits.
“No, not at all," he replied.
He then explained why.
"For me, I realize I have about 18 months left of basketball and I want the most out of this that I can possibly get and I don't know if that's going to be one game or the vast majority of what's left, but I have a long life without basketball, so I don't want to give in too soon. I want to try to make the most of this opportunity to play if I can."
Translation: For better or worse, L.A. is stuck.