When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns prior to the 2012-13 NBA season, there was great excitement about the team extending their championship window with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace.
Unfortunately, Nash only appeared in 65 games over two seasons and was forced to retire due to a back injury. As Nash still gets criticized for his brief stint in Los Angeles, he was the consummate professional and played a major role in Jordan Clarkson’s rookie season.
Despite being the No. 46 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Clarkson exceeded expectations and received NBA All-Rookie First team honors with the help of the former two-time MVP.
Since then, Nash has remained involved with the game of basketball by becoming a player development consultant. Although the future Hall-of-Famer works for the Golden State Warriors, he recently provided some advice to Lonzo Ball, via Mike Trudell:
Nash told him, ‘When I started to score, that’s when my assists became better and easier … when I first came in the league, all I wanted to do was pass and make everybody happy. But when I figured out how to score, and make my layups, do all those things, that’s when I started to average 20 and 10.’
With point guard being the toughest position to play in the NBA, there is no one better for Ball to learn from than Nash. As Ball is only 20 years old and preparing for his sophomore season, he will need to find a balance between scoring and facilitating.
Ball’s offseason training has been a bit intermittent as a platelet-rich plasma forced him to remain off the court for a brief stretch. Shortly after returning, it was announced Ball underwent left knee surgery.
While Nash provided guidance, Ball will be exposed to hands-on learning from Rajon Rondo and LeBron James this season.