Steve Nash may have only recently retired, but his playing days have been over for some time now. But that glaring fact didn’t stop at least two NBA teams from trying to bring him into the fold for one last hurrah earlier this year. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, both the Dallas Mavericks and the Cleveland Cavaliers made a push to bring on the two-time MVP to shore up their backcourt rotation:
“Sources said as recently as late June — when Nash played in longtime teammate Dirk Nowitzki’s annual charity baseball game — the Dallas Mavericks were still hoping to lobby Nash to consider unretiring and reuniting with Nowitzki as a spot-duty point guard for the coming season. ESPN.com reported in March that the Cleveland Cavaliers — at the behest of Cavs general manager David Griffin and former Cavs exec Raja Bell, also former Nash colleagues in Phoenix — likewise tried last season to persuade Nash to push for a buyout from the Lakers that would allow him to team up with LeBron James in Cleveland as a third point guard.
But Nash has been adamant since October that if he were physically able, he would play for the Lakers only. Nash ultimately was limited to 65 regular-season games in two seasons in L.A. thanks to a stubborn and debilitating nerve condition that has plagued him since he suffered a broken left leg in his second game as a Laker on Oct. 31, 2012.”
It’s testament to just how much perceived value even a hobbled Steve Nash might bring to a team trying to get over the hump, but both franchises are inarguably much better off with the offseason moves they ended up making instead. Dallas signed Deron Williams, who at 31, should be more inspired than ever to rehabilitate his career playing for his hometown team, and the Cavs brought back Mo Williams, who still offers significant value as a reliable backup point guard at this stage of his career.
Given his health, Nash made the wise decision on both accounts to stay focused on his duties as general manager of a Canadian national team that’s vying for an Olympic berth in Rio next summer, as well as his new part-time gig as a player development coach for the Golden State Warriors.