What Will Steve Nash’s Final NBA Ride Look Like with Los Angeles Lakers?

Steve Nash is gone.

In all actuality, the Los Angeles Lakers point guard is still here, in the NBA. In Hollywood. He's still making the occasional practice appearance, sporting a grizzled beard, attempting to break a sweat and prove to himself and Lakers fans there's still something left.

But he's still gone. The Steve Nash the Lakers thought they traded for is long gone. Age pilfered his health. Time filched his effectiveness.

Reality hijacked his career.

Before January was out, the Lakers welcomed Nash back to practice, though the term "back" must be used loosely.

This isn't Nash they're getting back. Not the real Nash.

The real Nash wouldn't have missed 41 of the season's first 47 games. Injuries wouldn't have kept the real Nash out of Los Angeles' last 39 contests. Nash—the real Nash—would have never watched helplessly from the sidelines as his team's initial championship vision regressed into an expensive tank job.

That Nash is gone. Forever.

What the Lakers are welcoming back is a splintered version of a senescent superstar destroyed by time, barely fit to take the court for a team he was supposed to help save from dissolution.


Forever Limited

Any hope of watching Nash, the NBA's oldest active player, lead the Lakers is gone.

The Lakers will turn to Kendall Marshall before him. They'll turn to Kobe Bryant (upon his return) before him. They'll turn to so many others before they count on Nash to provide any kind of offensive impetus.

The days of him consistently seeing 30-plus, or even 25-plus, minutes are figments of the past. Nash is too fragile for such a workload. Nerve damage has ruined his back, turning the seemingly harmless, like home life, into physical peril.

"I can withstand more demands," Nash said of his improvement af...

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