2014 Player Capsule: Steve Nash
BY THE NUMBERS:
15 – Games played in his second Lakers season, as Nash continued to battle nerve root irritation issues.
20.9 – Minutes per game for Nash, the fewest since his rookie year in 1996 (10.5), as he was ailed by back and hamstring issues resulting from the nerve issues.
10,335 – Career assists for the Canadian, who jumped Mark Jackson for third all-time in NBA history (John Stockton, Jason Kidd) with his fifth assist of the first half on April 8 vs. Houston in Nash's final appearance on 2013-14.
What a bummer. There are few players who’ve been both as consistently fun to watch and effective on the court throughout an NBA career as Steve Nash, whose body rarely cooperated despite dogged effort on his part in his 18th season. Ever since Nash broke his leg in the second game of a 2012-13 campaign so full of expectations, he was not the same All-Star player that won two MVP’s, even while showing intermittent flashes when he was able to take the floor. Battling through 50 games last season, Nash was able to play in only 15 – starting 10 – in 2013-14, towards averages of 6.8 points and 5.7 assists in limited playing time. His two best moments of the season came first at Philadelphia on Feb. 7, when he was able to play 28 minutes towards 19 points and five assists in a road victory, and later on the final day of his own season, when he jumped into third on the NBA’s all-time assist list. But good moments were few and far between on the court, even as he made his impact felt by sharing his considerable knowledge with his younger teammates. It’s of little use to analyze Nash’s limited time on the court, and his focus in the coming offseason is very simple: try and get healthy enough to be able to sustain minutes in 2014-15, even if they come in a limited role off the bench.
IN HIS WORDS:
“Obviously it’s been disappointing for all of us, and particularly, my situation has been a nightmare. The whole organization and Mitch (Kupchak) has been incredibly supportive and classy. They appreciated how hard I worked to get back and hopefully I’ll be back next year.”