Why Steve Nash Is Expected to Get One Last Chance to Salvage LA Lakers Career

LOS ANGELES — It’ll sound like a fairy tale to Los Angeles Lakers fans who’ve known only frustration as he nears his end, but once upon a time, Steve Nash was a young man.

Perhaps thinking of him that way instead of trying to explain all the tedious hours of workouts and treatments he’s doing in hopes of extending his career will help convey just how much Nash loves to play.

And the fact is, as of this time, Nash will get one last chance to play next season with the Lakers, who are not planning a free-agent spending spree this summer and are therefore thinking it does not make sense to use the stretch provision to waive Nash.

The Lakers would rather be done with the entirety of Nash’s $9.7 million salary next year if they’re not planning on spending much next season, as opposed to stretching that money across the next three seasons if they waive him and suffer future burdens.

That decision by the Lakers would give Nash one last season to get his body as right as possible, control the nerve-root irritation sapping his back and legs, and try to go out on something close to his terms.

“Yeah,” Nash said Tuesday night about the Lakers letting him play it out next season. “It sounds like it.”

If the Lakers change their mind and waive Nash, he intends to retire: “That would be it,” he said. “I’ll either be back here or I’ll be done.”

If he is granted this reprieve, though...

“It means that anything is still possible,” Nash said.

Right there, that’s him. That’s the little boy who still kicks and jumps and dreams deep inside this 40-year-old shell of an MVP.

No one gets to be 14 going on 40 or vice versa, but this pure spirit of perseverance—or simple hardheadedness—is nothing new for Nash.

When he was ...

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