Steve Nash has gotten a free pass on most of the Los Angeles Lakers criticism. Most of the blame for the Lakers dramatic and underachieving season has been on Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and especially on Dwight Howard.
Nash has remained, for the most part, faultless and invisible on a team that insists on doing things publicly and pointing fingers. Shouldn’t he be faulted for his lack of initiative throughout many attempts to improve the Lakers?
Nash has two MVP titles and eight NBA All-Star game appearances. He’s one of the best shooters in the history of the league, not to mention the fact that Nash is one of the top point guards to come out of the last two decades. Yet the guy who occasionally plays point guard for the Lakers isn’t the All-Star, the MVP or the NBA first team guy anymore.
Nash is averaging 12 points, 7.4 assists and 2.6 turnovers per game. His turnovers are down from averaging 3.7 last season and his assists are still high. However, his stats were never made him special or flashy.
The entire point of Nash is that he makes the entire team better. This isn’t a quality that he brought with him to L.A.
“I’m not as efficient as I’ve played in the past,” he said on Tuesday night. “This is not quite what I’m capable of.”
However, one could argue that his experience and ability as a leader are far more important than his position as a distributor, especially now that Bryant is the designated team passer.
“I’m just trying to embrace the role I’ve been given,” Nash said. “I’m not going to wonder about how I look here. This is about the team. We have enough voices around here. We don’t need mine adding to the mix.”
Even when the Lakers don’t lose, they’re still just an inch above awful. Nash spent most of his career on teams that struggled. Shouldn’t his voice be valued as one of a player who knows the sport and how to address the issues of a struggling team?