There’s always that point in the night when your buddy has to tell you that you’ve had one too many and that it’s time to go home.
I think we’re beginning to reach that point when it comes to Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash. But not because of anything bad, it’s just that at a certain point you just have to chalk it up to injuries. And I believe, and most would agree with me, that Nash needs to hang it up.
Nash has played 10 games this season. 10, and is probably going to miss the rest of the season.
When asked if Nash would play again this season, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he doubts it. That says all you need to know about what D’Antoni thinks of Nash’s health and how the Lakers feel about Nash going forward.
“Listen, man. You’ve had one too many. It’s time you go home. I called you a taxi, it’s out front waiting for you.”
Nash is refusing to use that taxi to ride into the sunset. Instead, he wants to drag this out one more season. I mean, if you were owed nearly 10 million, wouldn’t you do that too?
There was a gust of certainty Monday, a rarity in one of the most uneasy seasons in Lakers history.
Steve Nash clearly wants to return next season.
“I want to come back for sure,” he said Monday.
And if he does decide to in fact return next season, there’s a good chance that it won’t be with the Lakers. As Mike Bresnaham points out in his article to the LA Times, Nash is scheduled to learn $9.7 million next season as a part of his three-year, $28 million contract he signed to come to the Lakers. However, LA has the opportunity to use their “stretch provision” and waive him.
The Lakers have until Sept. 1 to determine whether they want to waive Nash via the “stretch provision,” in which his salary is spread out over the next three years. Or they can bring him back for one more season and try to play him while paying him.
Nash is now 40 years old, and if he returns next season it shouldn’t be with the Lakers. LA is trying to rebuild and it would be unfortunate if he has to continue to force his old self on them. The Lakers only need one old guy who thinks he can still play, and that role is designated for Kobe Bryant.