Lakers Insider: Steve Nash Gets Real as He Reaches End of the Road

LOS ANGELES — We've seen it big-time with an aging Kobe Bryant, and if you go back far enough in recent Los Angeles Lakers history, Karl Malone set up shop in that corner locker in his final season of 2003-04 and just poured out frank and heartfelt sentiment.

There's something about the end of one's playing days that gets players to stop worrying about being political correct for sponsors or considering the All-Star votes of mainstream fans. They just tell it like it is, how they feel it.

To wit, here is what Steve Nash, 40, had to say about spilling his truths, especially on Grantland's The Finish Line documentary-short series, which he calls "cathartic":

This is that universal story that we all sweep under the rug: that you come to the end of your day, whether you're a writer who's run out of words or you're an athlete who can't keep up anymore. And whether it's high school, college, pros, there comes a time you have to hang it up—or you face retirement.

In the case of a professional athlete, I think it's heightened because you've done something for 18 years that you've become accustomed to doing and built your life around and even your identity around—and to feel for a moment like that's disappeared is a frightening place. But to move on, to see the future and have to move on to that, it is something I think everybody goes through at some stage.

I had friends who don't play basketball, don't play sports, call me up and say, 'I've been feeling that way lately just in life. I'm 40 now. What the heck's going on?' It's a transition. So, that was the goal. It might look now in some respects because it has been well-received that people say, 'Wow, that was a smart move.'

But in some ways, especially with the money comment (about not retiring and losing $9.7 million), I just felt it was an opportunity to be really honest—and backlash be damned. It felt right at this stage of...

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