Veteran point guard Steve Nash has officially announced his retirement from basketball in an article he authored that was published at ThePlayersTribune.com. The 41-year-old didn’t specify if his retirement was effective immediately, though with the Lakers on the hook for the remainder of his $9,701,000 salary for 2014/15, he potentially meant that he would file the official paperwork with the league at the end of the season, though that is merely my speculation.
Writing about his love for the game, Nash said, “The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much — visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes. The obsession became my best friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my [expletive] by her. And that is what I’m most thankful for in my career. In my entire life, in some ways. Obviously, I value my kids and my family more than the game, but in some ways having this friend — this ever-present pursuit — has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable. I am so thankful. I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons about myself and about life. And of course I still have so much to learn. Another incredible gift.”
Nash’s playing career certainly didn’t end the way that he would have liked. The point guard only managed to appear in a total of 65 contests during his three seasons with the Lakers thanks to various injuries. He has missed the entire 2014/15 campaign due to back and neck woes. It was reported earlier this month that Nash held off on announcing his retirement at the Lakers’ request, so that the team could try and find a taker for his expiring contract on the trade market.
Discussing his time in Los Angeles, Nash wrote, “When I signed with the Lakers, I had big dreams of lifting the fans up and lighting this city on fire. I turned down more lucrative offers to come to L.A. because I wanted to be in the “fire,” and play for high risk and high reward in my last NBA chapter. In my second game here, I broke my leg and nothing was the same. Last spring, when I returned to the court, I was given a standing ovation at Staples Center. It was a dark time in my career and that gesture will be one of my best memories. There’s been a lot of negativity online, but in my nearly three years in L.A., I’ve never met anyone who didn’t show me anything but love and support for my efforts. There’s a lot of class in Lakerland, and the organization and staff have given me unwavering support.”
Selected with the No. 15 overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft, Nash is sure to be remembered as one of the greatest and most exciting point guards in the history of the league. In 1,217 career games spanning 18 NBA seasons, Nash has averaged 14.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 0.7 steals per contest. His career shooting numbers are .490/.428/.904. Over the course of his playing career Nash earned approximately $137,235,620 in salary according to Basketball Reference.com, though that figure doesn’t include this year’s income.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.