Why It’s Finally Time for Steve Nash to Walk Away from the NBA

It's painful to even consider telling Steve Nash he should walk away from basketball.

He's been around too long and played too well for anyone from the outside to have that right. Athletes have ridiculously short careers compared to the rest of us anyway, and it's not fair to force them out if they still have the desire to work.

So consider this more of a request than a demand: Mr. Nash, it's time to think about hanging it up.

You recently moved into third place on the NBA's all-time assists list on April 8, fighting through yet another tweaked nerve and playing with a leg you described to Mike D'Antoni as "on fire," per Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.

That's a remarkable achievement. One that provided historical context for your greatness and showed you're still beloved by fans who've had almost no reason to cheer this season:

And it provoked an outpouring of support from your younger teammates, each of whose comments made specific mention of your quality as a person and player:

After the game, you expressed doubt about playing again this season. But as usual, you couldn't do it without stating a desire to continue, per McMenamin: "Since I had a pretty good setback today, I probably won't play again [this season]. But if I get a good recovery over the next week, I'd love to play again."

Again, it's not for any of us to say you should see the latest setback for what it probably is: more proof your body simply won't allow you to play at the level you (and we) remember. Everyone wants to leave the game on their own terms, and you're fully within your rights to try.

But nobody ever goes out that way.

Your body has been shouting at you for two years, dictating its terms in the form of nerve damage, an unstable back and ongoing lower-body issues. Were it not for a close-enough-to-touch assist record, there's a good chance you...

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