The persistent pain in his hobbled body. The constant adjustment in morphing from a pick-and-roll point guard to an off-ball shooter. And, the losing. Oh, the losing.
All those ingredients made for one unsettling reality for the 39-year-old Steve Nash in assessing his 17 NBA seasons.
“It’s definitely been the most frustrating year of my career, not only with so many expectations to start but just physically not being able to play as much as I like or to go and have the impact that I planned on having this year,” Nash said.
Nash will likely return with the Lakers despite an injury plagued season that sidelined him for a total of 34 games because of a fractured left leg (24 games) and right hip and hamstring soreness (10 games). Nash, who has a two-year, $19 million contract left with the Lakers, can’t be waived via the amnesty provision. His diminished play also lowers his trade value.
Hence, Nash doesn’t plan on taking any time off so he can expedite his recovery that he estimates will last a month.
“I’m going to rehab right away,” Nash said. “I don’t have any concern and I haven’t gotten wind from anyone on the medical staff that there’s any concern for long-term issues or for next season to be in jeopardy.”
Nash received four epidural shots in his back this month because of nerve issues that caused pain in his hip and weakness in his hamstring. He also had a cortisone shot in his hip. Yet, Nash said the medical staff has alerted him that he likely won’t need any more of those procedures. He just needs more time to heal.
“I’m definitely going to prepare better than I ever had to try to make this year a distant memory and next year a phenomenal experience,” Nash said. “I always work hard. I’m not concerned about that. Sometimes you have to have a little bit of luck. I didn’t have that this year. But I’ll definitely prepare better than I have to make this year a distant memory and make next year a phenononaly experience.”
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