In every bad relationship there comes a time where you cut your losses and move on. Nothing personal. It didn’t work out; I wish you well, leave the keys on the dresser on your way out. Most times the other party finds their dignity and leaves willingly. In rare instances, drastic measures are needed.
The Lakers need to cut Steve Nash loose by the stretch provision in the offseason, if he doesn’t decide to retire. He’s never going to pan out. His productive days are over. He’s a carcass as a basketball player. If the best thing about your Lakers’ tenure is that the picks you were traded for haven’t turned into much, then your time there has been forgettable.
There’s no need to begrudge a player for finishing their career the best way they know how. There’s no shame in a formerly great player fading into the sunset as a much lesser version of himself. It happened to Jordan, it happened to Kareem, it will happen to Kobe. What is irritating though about Nash is his sense of entitlement. The video piece, the comment about playing out the string next year for the money, and the endless talk of him trying to come back to his former self. Enough already!
If this was happening while still with the Phoenix Suns, there would be nothing to say. He earned his money with that franchise. Its just that he has become, by default, the face of the Lakers’ dysfunctional front office. How good would an early second round draft pick look this year? The 2015 draft looks to be very good as well. At the time of the trade, those picks were assumed to be afterthoughts, but the Lakers’ fortunes have quickly deteriorated to the point that those picks would actually have been building blocks for the future.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but trading for a 39 year old with a bad back was never anything other than a desperate gamble. All the Lakers can do is move on. And let Nash go. After two injury marred seasons in a row, the Lakers need certainty,athleticism, and youth. Nash provides none of it.
If he were to come back next season, would he expect to start? Would he be reliable as a backup? Would the Lakers have to carry a third point guard capable of rotation minutes just like this season? How would that work alongside Kobe who will also need to pare down his workload? Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak don’t have time for this, they have much bigger concerns.
The honorable thing would be for Nash to announce sometime next week that he plans to retire at the end of the season, and that these remaining games are his version of going out on his own terms ala Charles Barkley. Lakers fans would embrace him. The League would embrace him and honor what was an extraordinary career.
Do the right thing Steve.
Athletes carry the stubborn gene, and none are more bullheaded than the aging formerly great player trying to hold on. As a star performer, you want to always leave em wanting more. Don’t make us escort you out, Steve, leave the $9 million on the dresser on your way out. We’d remember you more fondly.