A couple days ago, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash was officially ruled out for the season by Mike D’Antoni.
“He’s not going to play,” D’Antoni told the Los Angeles Times.
Nash finishes the 2013-14 NBA campaign playing only 10 games, while averaging 7.6 points (his worst total for his career since his rookie season) and 4.6 assists per game. Nash now joins Kobe Bryant on the “out for the season” stars list for the Lakers.
And while Nash could probably retire and call it a career, especially after such a rough year, he’s decided to give it another go. He wants to go out on better terms, it appears. Oh, wait. Nevermind. He just wants to get paid.
“It’s just a reality,” Nash said. “I’m not going to retire because I want the money. It’s honest. We want honest athletes, but at the same time, you’re going to have people out there saying ‘He’s so greedy. He’s made x amount of money and he has to take this last little bit.’ Yes, I do, have to take that last little bit. I’m sorry if that is frustrating to some but if they were in my shoes they would do exactly the same thing. I wouldn’t believe for a minute that they wouldn’t.”
But it’s not only that. Just like every athlete, Nash wants to shut those people up that are calling for his retirement, saying that he can’t do it anymore. More importantly, he wants to prove to himself that he can get back on the court, mostly because he just loves the game too much.
“To come to the end of my career and have a lot of people calling for me to retire, a lot of people believing that I’m done, and frankly a lot of people being extremely critical of me. … You have a lot of people who want to say you’re just trash,” he told Grantland. “That’s not my primary source of motivation — to show everybody — [because] my primary source of motivation is to get out there because I love the game. But it would be nice to shut some people up while I’m doing it.”
To his defense, I don’t think the Lakers have any right to “force” Nash into retirement if he genuinely wants to give this comeback thing a chacne. After all, the Lakers are the ones who signed him to that three-year, $27.9 million sign-and-trade deal back in 2012.