Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash will take the floor on Friday night against one of his former teams in the Dallas Mavericks. This may be the last time he suits up for the Lakers this season and perhaps the last time in his NBA career.
Heading into the matchup with the Lakers, superstar Dirk Nowitzki talked about witnessing his former teammate’s struggles over the last two seasons. Nowitzki says Nash still believes he can compete at a high level according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com:
“Well, he’s 40, so that doesn’t help,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who dined with Nash on Wednesday night. “But I mean, if he still loves to compete and thinks that he can get his body to a place where he can still compete at a high level, then I’m happy for him. It’s tough. You rehab a lot and then you play in a game. Next thing you know, you have some setbacks and then you’ve got to start all over again with the rehab.”
Nowitzki went on to say that he’s rooting for his former teammates while he battles through injuries and faces the end of his NBA career via MacMahon:
“It’s tough, but it looks like he wants to try it again and I’m happy for him. I’m rooting for him. He’s obviously a very good friend of mine. I just hope his nerves or whatever are holding up and hopefully he can play another year.”
With Nash admittedly playing in potentially his last game of the season on Friday against the Mavs, the future remains a mystery for the 40-year-old point guard. The Lakers have indicated a desire to retain Nash next season, but there’s no telling if that stance will change heading into the off-season.
The Lakers intend to rebuild this summer with a high pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and a considerable amount of cap space at their disposal. There’s been talk of the team using the stretch provision on Nash which would pay his $9.7 million due next season over the next three years, but that would impact their flexibility in the summers of 2015 and 2016.
As of right now, as long as Nash still intends to play out his contract, the Lakers will retain the future Hall of Famer moving forward.
Steve Nash ‘Thrilled’ To Be Back, Was ‘Down In The Dumps’