It appears Steve Nash has played his final NBA game. The Los Angeles Lakers have confirmed that Nash, 40, will miss the entire 2014-15 season because of nerve damage in his back.
The news was first reported by Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding. Nash was entering the final year of a three-year deal with the Lakers and his 19th season in the NBA. After being limited to 15 games in 2013-14 due to similar back issues, he had hoped he could return for one more healthy season before announcing his retirement.
"Being on the court this season has been my top priority and it is disappointing to not be able to do that right now," Nash said in a team statement. "I work very hard to stay healthy and unfortunately my recent setback makes performing at full capacity difficult. I will continue to support my team during this period of rest, and will focus on my long-term health."
For now Nash is holding off on official retirement talk but it seems unlikely that Canada's top basketball player ever and one of the most exciting offensive talents that the game has ever seen at point guard will play again.
He was the league MVP in 2004-05 and again in 2005-06 with the Phoenix Suns, one of only 10 players in NBA history to receive the honour more than once and was selected to eight all-star games, six times with Phoenix and twice with Dallas. He ranks third all-time in assists with 10,335, trailing only John Stockton and Jason Kidd.
Nash is poised to be the first Canadian enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame as a player and he leaves behind a glorious legacy. Even if his playing days are over he'll continue to be a central figure within Canada Basketball as the general manager of the senior men's team, a position he's held for over two years.
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