In what could reveal the measure of progress surrounding his right hamstring, Lakers guard Steve Nash plans to tryout for the Inter Milan soccer team Tuesday in New Jersey just before it opens play in the Guinness International Champions Cup tournament.
“It’s a dream come true to get a chance to try out, not just to try out but to take the field with Inter Milan, one of the great, storied franchises in professional sports,” Nash said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I feel like a little kid.”
Nash isn’t completely entering uncharted territory. He hosted two charity soccer games, one in New York and one in Los Angeles this past summer to support his self-named foundation. Both games featured a mix of NBA players and international soccer players. Nash also played soccer growing up before focusing more on basketball beginning in eighth grade.
He also remains a devoted fan to soccer, including being part of an ownership group with the Vancouver Whitecaps of
Major League Soccer.
But it’s still a tall order for someone who’s used to dribbling and passing with his hands.
“It’s going to be a lot higher than it is playing basketball, for sure,” Nash said. “I still get nervous for basketball games from time to time. When I get out on the court, I don’t get nervous, but before. To go out there with guys that I look up to and watch play, it’s definitely going to raise the nerves. I’ll be really nervous and really excited.”
Either way, the games will serve as a good tool for Nash to rehab from his hamstring, which kept him out of three of the Lakers’ four playoff games. Nash appeared in only 50 games, including missing 24 games because of a fractured left leg he suffered only the second game into the season.
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