Kobe Bryant-Steve Nash Pairing Still Has Plenty to Offer in Third Year Together

This will be the third season for Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash as teammates. The pairing has never really produced an impact for the Los Angeles Lakers, but the third time's a charm, as the saying goes.

The two backcourt players have been on the same side since 2012 but went nearly 18 months without playing together. March 30, 2013 marked the last time they made a joint regular-season appearance, with Nash playing a grand total of two minutes. The Lakers' preseason win against the Denver Nuggets on October 6 marked their return to action.

Why such a lengthy mutual absence for our star-crossed guards?

Blame an unfathomable slew of injuries, including Bryant's blown Achilles tendon and fractured knee, and Nash's broken leg and a meltdown of back and sciatic nerves.

Now they're back and finally healthy. And while slower than their halcyon days of old, they're hoping to put one good season together. It will be their last chance, collectively.

Nash, who will turn 41 in February, said this summer in an interview with Sport TV, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, "I think this is my last season. But I still love to play, practice and work on my game. I'm going to spend hopefully many, many years living this life without basketball. It'll be nice to play one more year."

Even now, there are still some kinks to work out. As Nash recently said, per Mike Bresnahan for the Los Angeles Times:

In some ways, there are some moments where it's seamless. And in other ways, we're still figuring our way together because we haven't played that many games together and we've played together in three different offenses now. So it's always kind of been in flux and adjustments.

It wasn't particularly surprising when Bryant, 36, gave a more blithe response: "It's never been something that's been difficult. It's extremely, extremely easy. We see a lot of the same things, ...

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