5 Reasons Why Steve Nash Should Retire From the NBA Already

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5 Reasons Why Steve Nash Should Retire from the NBA Already

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Andrew D. Bernstein - Getty Images

Two-time league MVP Steve Nash recently announced his desire to return to the NBA next season despite chronic leg and back injuries that have limited him over the past two seasons since being acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in the offseason of 2012. The Lakers point guard has played in just 60 of a possible 143 regular season games for the franchise. In the 2013-14 season alone, Nash has played just 10 games and hasn't played in more than three weeks due to the recurring injuries relating to back issues.

As great of a player as Nash was and in spite of his competitive desire to end his career on a positive note, it would be in the best interest for the both Nash and the franchise if the point guard would retire following the season. The point guard has a $9.7 million cap hit in the final year of his contract next season, and Nash can't go more than a few games without suffering debilitating injuries that shelve him for large periods of time due to nerve issues relating to his aging and aching body.

The Lakers currently stand at 21-40 with the Western Conference's worst record through 61 games. This season is going nowhere, and the franchise is reaching the end of an era. Though they signed franchise player Kobe Bryant to a two-year extension earlier this season, Bryant has played in just six games this year and will is currently fighting a comeback of his own due to injuries and age. The Lakers don't need two such players on their roster next season.

Here are five reasons why Steve Nash should retire from the NBA after this season.

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5. Too Many Injuries

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Kelley L. Cox - USA Today Sports

As mentioned in the opening slide, Nash has just too many recurring injury issues relating to nerve damage in his body. Leg and back injuries have made it difficult just for Nash to play for the Lakers over the past two seasons. How many times has he played through these injuries or been sidelined for extended periods due to the severity of his injuries? What would be the point in playing another year and going through the same debilitating process of rehabbing and returning only to get injured again?

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4. Lack of Production

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Andrew D. Bernstein - Getty Images

Although Nash will have blips where he shows off his old form, such as his 19-point, five-assist performance in a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers last month, those performances are simply very rare for Nash these days. The fact of the matter is, Nash doesn't fit very well on this Lakers team. Combined with his age and injuries, this results in a lack of production.

Once Kobe returns, he will be the Lakers' primary ball handler and Nash will be relegated to standing around as a spot-up shooter. The version of Kobe you saw in six games this season where he was ball-distributing playmaker rather than a volume scorer is the Kobe you're going to see the rest of his playing career.

Which further makes Nash a non-factor.

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3. Salary Cap Hit

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Howard Smith-USA Today Sports

As mentioned earlier, Nash has a $9.7 million cap hit for 2014-15. Some may argue that Nash should make money to play ball as long as teams are still willing to pay him to play, but it's not like Nash needs the money -- he has made more than $137 million during his career, not including endorsement deals and other endeavors. Nash doesn't need the money, and the Lakers could use that $9.7 million on several role players who can actually play on the court for the team next year.

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2. Lakers Have Better Point Guards Than Nash

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Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

The team has better options than Nash at point guard. Kendall Marshall is under contract for another season and Jordan Farmar can easily be brought back by the team. Marshall has been one of the few bright spots of a disastrous season for the Lakers. Through 33 games, Marshall has averaged 9.5 assists per game, which ranks second in the NBA. his .448 three-point shooting percentage ranks third in the league. Farmar has provided steady play at the point guard position, averaging 10.1 points and five assists per game.

If Nash returns next season, he's at best the third best point guard on the team.

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1. Lakers Aren't Championship Contenders

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Greg Smith - USA Today Sports

Though the Lakers will have a lot of cap space entering 2014, as the team will only have four players under contract when this season comes to a close, it's hard to envision even a few big moves in free agency will make the team true championship contenders next season.

Nash's legacy is set ,and the one thing he hasn't accomplished during his NBA career is win a championship. If the team was set up to win a championship next season, Nash would have a reason in returning, even in a bit role, in a quest to end his career with a ring.

But that is simply not going to happen with the Lakers next season.

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