Lakers Rumors: Appreciating Steve Nash Amid Rumblings of Midseason Retirement

On Friday night, Steve Nash will be on the Lakers bench. He'll look like Steve Nash. His hair will be maintained in that perfectly planned, sort-of messy way. He'll laugh with teammates, interact with the crowd in a fashion befitting of the stereotype that all Canadians are nice and take his seat adjacent the action.

He'll be there. Body and mind, but not as a player—like he hasn't been for an increasingly high percentage of his time with the Lakers. Nash has missed 38 of a possible 94 games since arriving in Los Angeles, a period of just over 16 months that feels like an eternity. The man who arrived, the beloved NBA veteran who served as the first piece in the Lakers' supposed push for a return to supremacy, is gone.

In his place is an injury-riddled mess. There are so many injuries piling up at this point that ESPN's player page has him listed out with "general soreness." The reality is that his once-balky back—the one that played a large part in his departure from Dallas way back when—is again rearing its ugly head. Along with an ankle injury. And a hamstring injury. And the general day-to-day soreness that comes with being a dude on the verge of 40.

Nash has made his frustration no secret. He wants to be on the floor, but his body is failing him. He wants to rehab and get better, but his body is failing him. He wants to be Steve Nash again, but his body is failing him.

So you can understand that when a respected NBA reporter like Peter Vecsey claims Nash is contemplating a midseason retirement, the reaction is going to be uproarious. 

The Lakers did a nice job of putting out Vecsey's fire before the report could get out of control. Team sources contacted their local beat writers to give their denials, coach Mike D'Antoni addressed the situation and a gigantic stake was attempted to be wedged into the heart of the story.

"He's 39, almost 40 years...

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