How Steve Nash Can Help Lakers Make Most of Transitional 2014-15 Season

The Los Angeles Lakers are about to meet Steve Nash for the first time, and though it's happening a little later than initially hoped, the 40-year-old two-time MVP can still make a lasting impact on the team.

Naturally, Kobe Bryant's ongoing quest to defy age and doubt is the biggest story of the upcoming season in L.A. His return gives the 2014-15 campaign meaning—even as the Lakers will struggle to keep pace in a brutal Western Conference.

Nash can lend significance to this season as well. Though not a part of the future in Los Angeles, Nash could help set the Lakers up for one that might be brighter than expected.


Item One: Health

It'd be ridiculous to talk about how Nash can help the Lakers without first acknowledging something: He hasn't been able to do so in the past because his body wouldn't allow it. Nash has played just 65 games in two seasons with L.A., and he's been physically limited in virtually every one of them.

We all know the backstory. A fractured leg ruined his first year, and he spent his second battling nerve issues that made day-to-day mobility a total crapshoot. That's why it's not an exaggeration to say the Lakers have never seen the real Nash.

He's been somebody else the entire time.

Now, in his 19th season, Nash says he's healthy—albeit with the reservations of a man acutely aware of his own frailty, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

"It's been a crazy drive for me...Maybe I'm starting to get to the other side of it...but it's very tenuous," Nash said. "It's such a monster to me over the last 18 months or two years that I'm not conceding anything to that beast...Just to be out there and feel pretty free is nice."

Per B/R's Dan Favale: "Most have long given up trying to downplay Nash's setbacks and hiccups and bumps, though. Rightfully so, too."

Still, Nash sh...

About the Author