What Will Make Steve Nash’s Final NBA Season with Los Angeles Lakers a Success?

It's a rare player who gets to write the ending to his own NBA story, but if Steve Nash plays a few things right in this, his final season, there's a good chance his last chapter will be one he's happy with.

The days of assist titles and MVP trophies are done, but Nash is healthy now. Or, at least healthy enough to keep playing a little while longer.

"I think this is my last season," Nash told Sport TV.

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News transcribed the rest: "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."

The hope is that this season resembles Nash's earlier days more than it does his two most recent campaigns, when a fractured leg kicked off a chain reaction of back, hip and nerve issues that cost him a total of 99 games.

Hopes and expectations are vastly different things, though.

His 15-game sample from the 2013-14 season is simply too small to provide any real information, and we know Nash was physically rickety even in the games he played. The 50-game stint he provided in 2012-13 as part of a failed superteam isn't all that informative either. Those were some odd circumstances, marked by outsized expectations, competing agendas, coaching turmoil and miscalculated chemistry.

Because we haven't seen him perform in even remotely decent circumstances for two years, our ignorance regarding Nash is twofold. We can't know how his body will hold up, and even if it does, we have no idea how much the 40-year-old has left in the skill department.

Simply getting on the floor consistently will be a victory for Nash, but even he can't be sure that's possible.

As you can see, he's already building contingencies into his plans this year:

Realistically, that second part is more in line with...

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