Just over a year ago, the Los Angeles Lakers completed a sign-and-trade receiving Steve Nash in exchange for their 2013 and 2015 first-rounders in addition to their 2013 and 2014 second-rounders. At the time the deal seemed like a home run as the Lakers went on the acquire Dwight Howard via trade as well. Well, we are all fully aware of how the Howard saga panned out, and we are now fully engulfed in the Steve Nash saga.
When signing and trading for Nash, Los Angeles offered him a generous three-year, $27 million deal. Up until that point, Nash was healthy for the majority of his career with both the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks. However, immediately when he stepped onto the court for the Lakers, everything seemed to come crashing down. Nash fractured his leg in only his second game as a member of the team against the Portland Trail Blazers, never regaining his step again. The broken leg has been the root of all evils, literally the root, as every current health problem is due to nerve root damage in his lower back/leg. This damage is a direct result of the fracture in his leg, something that cannot be healed.
In what has been an already dismal season, Nash has failed to play over 10 games, which brought up serious retirement discussions. Laker fans were hoping he would medically retire, allowing Nash to still receive his remaining $9.7 million while also taking the salary off the books for next season. Here’s where the bad news comes into play. When Nash appeared in his tenth game of the season, he disqualified himself for medical retirement. This means he could only do a normal retirement. Retiring would ultimately force Nash to forfeit the remaining cash on his deal, something that he refuses to do.
Now, nobody could blame him for wanting what is left on his contract. Nash even came out dark and said, “It’s just a reality. I’m not going to retire because I want the money. It’s honest… I have to take that last little bit.” Definitely not something anybody associated with the Lakers’ franchise wants to hear. Fans are absolutely enraged that he disqualified himself to medically retire and rightfully so. At this point, Nash is delaying Los Angeles’ rebuilding process, possibly costing Kobe Bryant a shot at a sixth title. It is selfish, it is a disgrace and it is a huge blow to his legacy. The man has struggled to play consecutive games this season, so what makes him believe that he will be able to next season? There is absolutely no reason why he had to play the tenth game. None.
Once a beloved Phoenix Sun is now being becoming a villain by fans and media of one of the winningest franchises in sports history.