In Trying to Build Lakers’ Future, Steve Nash Has Paid High Cost to His Present

LOS ANGELES — Steve Nash was offered one last opportunity to don an official NBA uniform Wednesday and join the 2014-15 Los Angeles Lakers team photo.

He declined.

Go ahead, haters. Wind up to hurl more venom at Nash for not even supporting the club that is paying him nearly $10 million this season after all the other disappointment he has brought.

I'd rather clear the air that has been so wrongly polluted.

The only reason Nash isn't retired from basketball already, having put it all behind him, is so he could try to help the Lakers.

Nash was ready to call it a career before the season. After deep soul-searching to accept his body does not belong in an official NBA uniform any longer, he wasn't just out for the season.

He was, and is, done.

The Lakers asked Nash not to announce anything, according to team sources. They hoped they could trade Nash's $9.7 million salary, not only an expiring contract but also a giant coupon for another club to take and immediately save real dollars via insurance, to get a building block for the Lakers' future.

Fully aware how little he has given the Lakers since arriving in 2012, Nash agreed to do them a solid. He would put off his official retirement announcement and remain a member of the Lakers this season in name only.

He would, in the process, incur even more of the wrath of frustrated Lakers fans seeing the "greedy" Nash as the face of the Lakers' flops after Dwight Howard's departure.

Nash had no duty to be around the team this season, folks. He wasn't dodging or conning anyone. He was retired, as the Lakers brass knew, and he was trying to come to grips with that after having fought harder against it than just about anyone—certainly anyone who accomplished as much as he did in the NBA.

In reality, the Lakers and Nash went about this in the way mature people handle ter...

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