Last month the Lakers made the decision to sit Steve Nash down for the season. Recurring back problems, as well as a host of other maladies for the 40 year old, forced the Lakers to move on without the two-time MVP. Except, rather than act as a mentor for some of the younger Lakers, Nash has disappeared, and coach Byron Scott would like to hear from him.
Nash isn’t mandated to stay in touch, but the point guard — who is still slated to earn $9.8 million in the last year of his contract — has been totally off the grid even while the Lakers have stumbled to the worst start in franchise history after losing to San Antonio last night.
“I would like to (hear from Nash), but I don’t know,” Lakers coach Byron Scott told the Los Angeles Daily News‘ Mark Medina. “I gave him a call, but I haven’t gotten a return call. So we’ll see.”
Scott claims he would have “definitely” returned a coaches call at any point in his own 14-year playing career. But he also admits he’s “not angry at all,” about the cold shoulder. It can be an arduous thing for a competitor’s psyche to admit their playing career is at its end.
Nash teamed up with Grantland to film a series of videos called the “The Finish Line” last year, detailing his attempts to come back last season. But the bevy of health issues got to be too much during training camp before the 2014-15 campaign officially began.
“He’s probably going through a tough time to adjust as far as life without basketball at this particular point,” Scott said. “It didn’t upset me one bit. Hopefully I’ll reach out to him again and we can talk or I can get a return call.”
The Lakers could use all the know-how they can find, including Nash’s expertise. They’re 1-8, and Kobe Bryant is on the cusp of a violent outburst if his cohorts can’t come through soon. Nash’s presence might alleviate some of that strain. Then again, who are we to judge. It’s impossible to say if he’ll come back into the fold.
The Lakers have applied for a disabled player exception because he’s been shut down. It would net them around $4.9 million if it’s approved by the NBA. Still, the Lakers might still trade Nash’s expiring deal for a team looking to clear some cap space in July.
Will Nash ever help mentor the young Lakers?
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