Will Steve Nash’s Struggles Be Preview of Things to Come for Kobe Bryant?

It doesn’t come from that deep, dark place inside.

There’s no obvious reason to go at his kind face with some loud, throaty roar. But for all the venom Lakers fans hold and continue to unleash on Dwight Howard, they aren’t too big on Steve Nash either.

Like Howard, Nash represents only negative things to Lakers fans embarrassed by last season and seeing Nash crumble again less than two weeks into a season in which his offensive artistry is sorely needed with Kobe Bryant still out. At a time when fans like to delineate who are “real Lakers” and latter-day fakes, Nash hasn’t earned his spot.

He has given very little to cheer about, and the aging but bejeweled peer he essentially replaced, Derek Fisher, is at least still upright and active in Oklahoma City. For the record, you could rightfully say that the Nash acquisition cost the Lakers four first-round picks (and two second-round picks)—counting the two first-rounders lost to pave the way for Ramon Sessions to replace Fisher before Sessions left for nothing upon the Lakers’ realization they could land Nash.

And when you sift carefully through all the debris from last season, Nash is indeed a primary reason why Mike D’Antoni is here instead of Phil Jackson, whose refusal to use Nash as a ball-dominant point guard did not jibe with the vision of Mitch Kupchak and Jerry and Jim Buss.

So when the sensitive subject of Nash’s declining health comes up, as it so often has and is again with this latest nerve root irritation that might keep him out two weeks or two months, Lakers fans either shake their heads quietly or howl that the old man should retire and cut the franchise a break. It is largely overlooked what amazing contributions Nash has made to the game in a league where everyone now plays faster and more creatively on offense because of how fast and creative the two-time NBA MVP was i...

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