After acquiring Steve Nash in a trade with the division rival Phoenix Suns in the summer of 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers were thought to have finally brought in an elite point guard for the short-term.
Unfortunately, two games into his first season with the Lakers, Nash suffered a leg fracture. It was thought to be a minor injury initially with Nash returning to the game after getting checked out, but it turned out to be much worse.
Nash has dealt with nerve issues in his back as a result of the leg injury and simply hasn’t been able to stay healthy. The two-time NBA MVP has only played in 65 games over the past two seasons with next season set to be his last.
Although injuries have been a major problem for Nash, Lakers head athletic trainer Gary Vitti says the veteran point guard is looks better than he did a year ago in an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
Right now things look better on July 31, 2014, than we did July 31, 2013. He was still having nerve issues last July.
With only 15 games to his credit last season, Nash appeared to be headed toward an early retirement. The 40-year-old really struggled to stay healthy and as a result, he was mentioned in trade rumors along with the possibility of the team using the stretch provision on his him this summer.
Fortunately for Nash, the team elected not to waive him via stretch provision giving him another shot to bounce back one more time in a Lakers uniform next season. Nash will have some competition for the starting job come October with the Lakers acquiring Jeremy Lin in a trade with the Houston Rockets. Many believe Lin could be the starting point guard to start the season if Nash continues to battle with injury problems.
Jeremy Lin Lakers Press Conference (PT. III): On James Harden’s Comments, Steve Nash